I know, I know: Local, Seasonal Girl makes out-of-season dessert! Film at 11. Actually, I’ve made this dessert several times since Heidi posted the original recipe back in May, but somehow, I never posted the recipe. Either we were starving and dived right in, or the light was gone, or we had friends over and I didn’t feel like embarrassing myself making them wait while I took 32 pictures of a fruit crumble for the blog. Whatever it was, I finally got around to making and photographing this easy, adaptable and delicious fruit crumble, using the very last of the frozen rhubarb and a bag of strawberries that’s been hiding in the chest freezer since June of ’09.
There’s nothing bad about this recipe: it comes together in minutes, it is endlessly adaptable (this latest version I scaled down to use 8 oz of strawberries and 6 oz of rhubarb; swapped amaretto for port and pecans for pine nuts), the basic ingredients are usually on hand, and it works just as well with frozen fruit as fresh. When Tai calls and tells me he’s bringing home a friend from the cliffs for dinner, I can whip this together in 10 minutes and have it out of the oven before he walks through the door, saying “Oh my GOD, what is that smell??” And, despite my lack of enthusiasm for cooked-fruit desserts, even I eat this one now & then: it is that good. Trust me, this is a basic that you’ll be happy to have in your repertoire: no matter what the season.
Adapted from Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble by Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks
- 3 oz (3/4 cup) whole white wheat flour
- 3 oz (2/3 cup) pine nuts (pecans are a good sub)
- 1 and 1/2 oz (1/2 cup) rolled oats
- 1/3 cup raw sugar (organic turbinado)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 and 1/2 oz (1/3 cup) butter, melted
- 12 oz trimmed rhubarb, sliced to 1/2-inch pieces (I used frozen)
- 8 oz strawberries, washed, hulled, halved or quartered (I used frozen)
- 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- pinch sea salt
- 1/4 cup port wine, optional (Amaretto works nicely too!)
- If using frozen fruit, remove from freezer and allow to thaw in a colander or sieve (or thaw in a microwave or suspended in a large bowl of hot water).
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to preheat as well.
- To make the topping, combine the flour, oats, nuts, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss well to mix. Add melted butter and toss with a fork to blend; mold the topping into 4 or 5 patties with your hands, then place in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
- To make the filling, whisk the cornstarch and sugar together in a medium bowl. Add the (thawed) fruit, along with any juices, and a pinch of salt. Mix well. Allow to macerate for about 5 minutes, then add port wine, if using. Mix again and transfer filling to a 10-inch quiche dish, a 9-inch pie plate, or a square casserole dish. Remove topping from the freezer and crumble over the top of the fruit, including a mix of large and small pieces of topping.
- Bake, on the rimmed baking sheet, for 30 – 40 minutes, or until the topping is a rich golden brown and the juices are bubbling (and/or spilling over the sides of your dish). If you want the crumble to maintain some structure upon serving, allow to cool at least 30 minutes before you serve.
Serves 4 – 6 (although Heidi claims it serves 8 – 12. Heh. Those wacky Californians.)
- The recipe is quite flexible and the end result forgiving: swap in different flours or nuts, different proportions of strawberries & rhubard, or indeed, different fruits altogether.
- Adjust the sugar to your preference, and based upon the sweetness of your fruit (original recipe calls for 1/2 cup sugar in both the filling and the topping).
- I’ve tried the recipe with honey replacing the sugar; it works for the filling (although the result is a bit runnier than when using sugar) but the topping really needs the sugar for structure.
At room temperature, loosely covered, for 2 days. Refrigerated, covered in plastic wrap, for 5 days.
Late spring into early summer, or year-round with frozen fruit.