I was introduced to Willow’s beautiful blog, Will Cook For Friends, through the suggestion of another blogging friend. I am so grateful for these types of connections because Willow is one to know, my friends! Not only are her recipes are worth coming back for at every post (creative ideas, health-inspired and gorgeous photos), but she is also so genuinely sweet that you just cannot help but fall in love!
Hold on… give me a moment to regain my composure. How crazy is it that I’m writing on this girl’s blog? I don’t remember when I first ‘met’ Cara, but it was clear from the start that we would be friends. I was immediately drawn to her personality – doesn’t it just shine through in everything she does? She always has something inspiring to share, through sweet food or sweeter words, and has a knack for making me laugh. I’m honored to be one of her ‘people you should know’!
Courtesy of my garden, and a local U-Pick farm a few miles down the road, I bring to you: Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble. Sweet strawberries, tart rhubarb, and a splash of orange come together in a chorus of flavors that can only mean spring. Fresh air and sunshine really can make wonders happen.
If you aren’t familiar with rhubarb’s long ruby stalks, I could best describe it as being akin to celery. It’s crisp and fibrous in texture, with big fanning leaves (which are toxic – don’t eat them!). By all rights it is a vegetable, but here in the States legislation has been passed to classify it as a fruit, because it is so often used as one. Very official. It’s tart and sour, and too bitter to eat raw, but when cooked blossoms with a light, citrusy sweetness… and if you’ve never had rhubarb, the best I can recommend is in combination with strawberries.
This rustic dessert is perfect fresh from the oven, or served with a scoop of your favorite ice cream. It hits all of the warm and cozy notes of pie, but without the hassle of dough. Dish it out in single-serving ramekins, or bake a whole pan full for family or friends. There’s no going wrong with this one.
Strawberry Rhubarb & Orange Crumble
(Note that rhubarb is quite acidic, and therefore should not be cooked directly in cast iron or aluminum. Use glass, ceramic, enameled, or non-stick bake ware for this crumble.)
Makes four 7oz. ramekins, or one 8×8 inch pan
2 cups (230g.) rhubarb, sliced (about 1-2 stalks)
2 ½ cups (345g.) strawberries, hulled and halved
1 tsp. (4g.) orange zest
1 TBSP (14g.) orange juice
½ cup (110g.) granulated sugar
1 TBSP (8g.) tapioca starch (or substitute corn starch)
1/2 cup (60g.) rolled oats, certified gluten-free
¼ cup (30g.) coconut flour (or other fine-ground flour, such as quinoa or rice)
¼ cup (30gr.) almond flour (or other nut meal)
1/4 cup + 1 TBSP, packed (75g.) dark brown sugar, organic/vegan
4 TBSP (55 g.) vegan butter, melted
1/8th cup (15g.) sliced almonds (optional)
1 tsp. (3g.) cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Optional: vegan ice cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 325f. (160c.)
Slice the rhubarb, and hull and slice the strawberries. Add them to a bowl along with the orange zest and juice, and toss to coat with the sugar and tapioca starch. Set aside to macerate for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Combine all ingredients except the butter in a large bowl. Pour the melted butter over top, and mix with a fork until everything is well moistened and crumbly.
Evenly divide filling into ramekins, or pour into an 8×8 inch baking dish. Cover liberally with crumb topping, and set ramekins or dish onto a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake on the center rack for 30-40 minutes, or until golden and bubbly, rotating the pan after the first 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and serve warm as it is, or with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.