It wasn't until I moved to Pennsylvania that I first tried rhubarb and became slightly obsessed with this strange, celery-looking vegetable that is most commonly used in desserts. It's an enigma, for sure, but one that's definitely worth taking the risk and trying. Why it's not a southern staple is beyond me. It meets all of the requirements...
Can you put it in a pie?
Does it work in a cobbler?
Can you turn it into preserves and spread it on a big, buttery biscuit?
It's tart and sweet and just oh so good. Thank heavens, the Germans agree, and there's tons of fresh rhubarb to be found at the markets. My ONLY complaint is that most folks - including the bakeries around here - add wayyy to much sugar for my liking, taking away that delicious tangy bite that I love so much.
This crumble is a culmination of the things I liked best from Ina's version and this one at epicurious, plus a couple of tweaks of my own based purely on personal preference and what I had on hand. If you're jonesing to try rhubarb and can't find it in your normal grocery store, you can typically find it in season at Whole Foods in the U.S. or pre-chopped in the frozen fruit section. Now, prepare yourself, because this sucker is way too simple to make and way too good to share...
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
Begin by preheating your oven to 375 F (190 C).
1/2 c. all purpose flour*
3/4 c. oats (either quick cooking or old fashioned will do)
1/4 c. chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts, but you could use walnuts or pecans)
1/2 c. brown sugar (if you, like me, don't have brown sugar, you can use 1/2 c. white sugar + 2 tsp. molasses)
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 c. butter, softened*
In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add butter (I softened mine in the microwave both because I'm impatient and because I wanted it to be soft enough to incorporate with a spoon) and stir until mixture clumps together. Place in refrigerator while preparing the filling.
3 - 4 c. rhubarb, cut into one-inch pieces
2 - 3 c. strawberries, diced (if you don't have strawberries, I think peaches or even raspberries would be delicious here)
juice of one lemon
1/2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour*
In a large bowl, mix sugar and flour. Add rhubarb, strawberries, and lemon juice, and toss well to coat. Pour filling into 13 x 9-in. glass baking dish.
Drop clumps of crumble topping across the top of the filling, then place in 375 F (190 C) oven for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 - 20 minutes. Serve in bowls with a heaping scoop of good vanilla ice cream.
*I haven't tried it, but I believe this recipe could easily be adapted to be gluten-free and/or vegan by subbing oat flour or almond flour for the all purpose flour and using softened coconut oil in place of butter.