This past weekend I went crazy. Crazy with strawberries and rhubarb. It’s almost the end of rhubarb season, and like every year, I was late buying it.
I’ve seen it around for the last three weeks at my local markets, and every year I say I’m going to plant it, then end up forgetting. It is literally the easiest plant to grow, it’s low maintenance, grows like a weed, and in mass amounts. Maybe next year…
Strawberry season has also officially begun! I’ve been buying them locally for two weeks now! Strawberries and rhubarb are a match made in heaven. They go together like bread and butter, cheese and crackers… you get the idea.
If you’ve ever tried rhubarb cooked on it’s own, you probably know that without sugar, it’s extremely tart, and almost inedible. Also if you’ve been keeping up with my blog posts, you may know by now I’m not a huge fan of any processed sugar. Period. Yes, I agree it’s good to have a treat once in a while, however, we consume way too much of it on a daily basis, and it’s awful for our bodies. I try to substitute with natural sweeteners whenever possible, such as honey, maple syrup, agave.
But, saying that, a good strawberry rhubarb crisp needs sugar. I’ve tried it with honey but wasn’t crazy about the flavour, maple syrup isn’t a good fit, and if I didn’t like the honey, I wasn’t trying the agave. So I went into my cupboard to find the white granulated sugar, and lo and behold I didn’t have any! I ran out months ago and totally forgot to buy more. Clearly I haven’t been missing it…
I’m pretty sure Mr. FIL told me a month ago when he went to bake bread and I told him to sub the sugar with honey…
Anyway, I didn’t feel like making a special trip to the grocery store to buy some sugar, and the improviser I am, I started raiding my cupboards for an alternative. and I found some organic cane sugar! That bag was almost empty too, but I thought I’d take my chances. There was 1/4 cup of it left, and so I mixed it in with the chopped rhubarb and strawberries.
Sometimes improvising ends up being super successful. In this case, this was the best crisp I’ve ever made. Mr. FIL (and Ashley) tested and approved.
I wanted to mention this is probably one of the easiest desserts you can make, and it’s extremely difficult to mess up! So if you’re a baking novice, or have last minute guests, this is the perfect dessert. It’s almost foolproof, and I say almost foolproof, because if you were to forget it in the oven… well… there’s your answer. 🙂
Saying that, all you have to do is chop up 2 cups of fresh strawberries, 1.5 cups of rhubarb, mix in the sugar and cornstarch and make the oat topping. Don’t forget the cornstarch! It thickens the juices from the fruit and creates this awesome syrup that is amazing… over French vanilla ice cream. Hehe.
The topping is almost as easy as the bottom layer. You’ll need quick rolled oats, brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and butter. Mix the oats, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon together. Add the butter, and with two knives, “cut” the butter into the mixture until it is a coarse crumb. See below.
Spread the crumb mixture over the fruit mixture, pop in the oven for a half hour, and voila! You’ll end up with this beauty.
This did not last long in my house… I say it serves 4, but Mr. FIL and I polished it off in less than a day. Seconds are necessary when taste testing, just in case.
Note: After you’ve turned the oven off, if you’re not serving it right away, pop it back in the oven to keep it warm until you’re ready to serve. Oh, and don’t forget that ice cream 😉
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Hot, bubbly, and fresh out of the oven, coat the thick strawberry rhubarb syrup over some French Vanilla ice cream, and you have a wonderful, sweet and fruity dessert.
- 1.5 cups rhubarb chopped
- 2 cups strawberries chopped
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar OR 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 3 tsp cornstarch
For the topping:
- 1 cup quick cooking oats GF if needed
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup cold butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch.
Pour the mixture into an 8x8 baking dish.
In another bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Add the butter, and with two knives, cut the butter into the mixture until it is crumbly. Spread the topping all over the rhubarb/strawberry mixture.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until it is bubbling at the sides.