Monday, June 13, 2011

Crumbly strawberry-rhubarb crumble

I made this a few weeks ago, but between work, Sophie, and a trip to the East Coast (where I had the opportunity to eat here and here in one gluttonous day--no one can say I don't seize the moment!), I had trouble getting it into a post. But it was too good to be forgotten. So, although it's belated, and rhubarb may have vanished from the grocery store, let me tell you about this strawberry-rhubarb crumble. If you can't make it now, you can make it next year. And you can certainly steal the secret to the crumbly topping and use it on any kind of fruit.

I myself nabbed the entire recipe from smitten kitchen who borrowed the idea from the divine Nigella Lawson. What's the great concept? Leavening in the topping. As in: baking powder.

Yeah, I was skeptical too, but believe me when I say, this is worth trying. It results in big crumble-y crumbs--no little pesky tidbits masquerading as topping. It's perfect and delicious. 

Oh, and there might have been some Madagascar vanilla ice cream involved...

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble
From smitten kitchen
Yields 6 to 8 servings.

For the topping:
1 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons Demerara sugar (or turbinado sugar aka Sugar in the Raw)
Zest of one lemon
1/4 pound (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 quart strawberries plus a few extras, hulled, quartered
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Prepare topping: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugars and lemon zest and add the melted butter. Mix until small and large clumps form. Refrigerate until needed.

2. Prepare filling: Toss rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.

3. Remove topping from refrigerator and cover fruit thickly and evenly with topping. Place pie plate on a (foil-lined, if you really want to think ahead) baking sheet, and bake until crumble topping is golden brown in places and fruit is bubbling beneath, about 40 to 50 minutes.


  1. Oooh, big struesel crumbs are THE best. I hate to admit that I pick them off the top with my fingers. Is that so bad, though? And can ya really blame me? ;)

  2. Haha reading Carolyn's comment was like reading my thoughts! I'm totally the same way. So jealous of your NY trip! I'm dying to go see what all this Eataly hype is about!

  3. Oooh, I am SO going to try and get to those two places when we hit NY. Love the colour of your crumble, so pretty. And of course, anything involving Madagascar vanilla bean ice-cream has to be good right?

  4. CJ: I'm the same way!

    Jessica: Eataly was fun--kind of overwhelming but definitely a great place to eat and shop!

    shaz: You definitely should. I wish we'd had more time there, but we just had one day. When are you going?

  5. I will have to try this. I usually make Ina's crispy topping (oats & nuts), but a crumbly topping - with BIG crumbles - might be a nice change. I have no rhubarb nor strawberries... but I do have raspberries and blueberries! - Pete P.S. Love hearing about your eating vacations!

  6. Pete: It would be good with any fruit. Let me know if you like it!

  7. That's cool with the streusel, will have to try that next time!

    Did you like Momofuku Ssam? Hope you tried a pork belly bun!

    (p.s. thanks for the heads up on the comment login on my site which is now fixed. Turns out the latest software update made some changes without notifying me...)

  8. That's the great thing about crumbles, any fruit will work. Besides, I end up eating the top first anyway...and ice cream in every bite. LOL

  9. Connie: We loved Momofuku Ssam. And YES the pork belly bun was beyond delicious. I'm still dreaming of it...

    Barbara: Yep, that's the way I eat them too!

  10. We are marinating a pork shoulder for momofuku bossam this weekend up in tomales bay, can't wait to try it with oysters! Your streusel looks damn gorgeous, I've never had much luck with those...

  11. Hi again, I know I'm so excited about it, but we're not heading there till September. Not that far off come to think of it :)

  12. Foodhoe: That sounds divine. And anything with oysters has to be good.

    shaz: that will be a great time (weather-wise) to be in NYC. It was a bit sweltering last week.

  13. I'm admittedly not the biggest fan of rhubarb. But you might have just convinced me otherwise with this delicious looking crumble.

  14. I've never considered putting baking powder in my crumble topping, but it's definitely an interesting idea. And it will work with all of summer's glorious fruits, I'm sure!

  15. CJ: Rhubarb is good when you have enough sugar in it...

    camille: I was skeptical too, but it's worth a try!

  16. a crumbly crumble--how terrific! i can't believe i went 27 years without enjoying the strawberry-rhubarb combo, but i plan to make up for lost time! :)

  17. grace: It's about time you discovered this greta combo!