Tart but sweet, oh so crispy on top, and best served with a dollop of ice cream. It’s both strawberry and rhubarb season, and I can honestly never think of a better way to use fresh strawberries than in a crisp. I drooled so much just looking at the photos I took and deciding which to post!
There’s nothing as satisfying to pick as strawberries. They just smell and taste sooo good! If you’re from Ontario or surrounding states/provinces, you know! I used to insist Ontario strawberries were the BEST, but I’ve discovered upstate NY’s climate also produces some stellar strawberries. I developed this recipe during COVID, when Ryan and I ended up living full-time at our cabin in New York so that we could race. The border was closed, it was a mission to get there (We had to ship our van across the border $$$, Ryan’s dad is a pilot and few us in a tiny plane, thank goodness for him or it wouldn’t have happened but we got stuck in a storm, I got sooo sick because of the turbulence… it’s a whole separate story). Anyways, I missed my veggie garden at home a whole lot, but I was lucky enough to get a plot in the community garden in Keene Valley where I planted for the summer (such amazing views!). Turns out, half the garden is invaded by strawberry plants. If you’ve had them, you know how easily they spread, and a few people’s plots were just full of them. They gave me permission to pick as many strawberries as I wanted, and Ryan and I would go many evenings and pick freezer bags full! SO GOOD. We had a lot of strawberries. I made strawberry ice cream, jam, I even put it on pizza (it was so good I swear). But my favourite that I made over and over again was this crisp.
If you’re American, you’re probably more familiar with Cobbler. So far as I can tell, the difference between the two is that Crisp uses oats. It’s a streusel topping made with brown sugar. Personally, I like it better… I find it a little less sweet, and more crispy (no pun intended!).
I picked these strawberries from my garden, which I will admit I’m quite proud of! I planted it two years ago. It’s taken the plants some time to spread and produce fruit. I also have regrets about where I created the garden bed, because it’s been a weeding nightmare. This made me feel like it’s all worthwhile.
That being said, you can use frozen or store-bought strawberries! I didn’t have enough strawberries for the whole recipe, so about 1/3 of them I just tossed in straight from the freezer. Yep, still frozen! If you use frozen berries for the entire recipe, I would recommend adding an extra tablespoon of flour to the strawberry rhubarb filling mix. Frozen berries produce a lot of water, and it will help to thicken that in to a nice syrup.
The sweetness level:
To me, the sweetness level in this recipe is just perfect. Ryan reviewed it as “not too sweet” when he did the taste test. When I first tasted this, I thought it was definitely sweet but not cloying. Rhubarb is not sweet, and it adds a nice tangy element. Once I tasted a bit more of it, and added ice cream (!), I found it perfect. I think if you’re from overseas, you might find this quite sweet, as I have found the desserts there to be way more toned down than North America. You can lower the sugar level by a few tablespoons if you like.
I served this with Salted Caramel ice cream, and have zero regrets about that choice. Vanilla would be super, too.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
For the crumb topping:
· 3/4 cup flour (90g)
· 3/4 cup old fashioned oats (75g)
· 3/4 cup brown sugar (130g)
· 3/4 tsp baking powder
· 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
· ¼ tsp ground ginger
· dash of salt
· 1/2 cup butter, melted (113g)
For the Strawberry Rhubarb filling:
· 1 2/3 cup rhubarb (217g)
· 4 ¾ cup strawberries (687g)
· 3 Tbsp butter, melted (43g)
· 2 Tbsp flour (15g)
· 1 Tbsp lemon juice
· 3 Tbsp milk (45g)
· 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
· 1/4 cup brown sugar (55g)
· 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
· Dash of salt
· Optional topping: Vanilla or Salted Caramel ice cream
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a medium size bowl, combine the crumb topping ingredients with a fork until it resembles small crumbs. Refrigerate while you prepare the apple filling.
For the filling: In a small bowl, combine melted butter and flour until well blended. Add lemon juice, milk and vanilla and stir well. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour butter mixture over the fruit and toss to coat. Pour mixture into an 8x8-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the fruit mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and top is set. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.