I have been slightly losing my mind over the strawberries that have just gotten to the market, and so I've been playing around with variations on crumbles. I particularly love this one with rhubarb because strawberry and rhubarb are just so classic together, but, also, using peak season fruit means I can bake with a lot less sugar - the berries taste like candy!
The filling gets an ingredient that you usually don't see in a crumble: sherry vinegar. The vinegar really brightens and intensifies that berry flavor in a unique way. I let the fruit marinate for a bit before topping and throwing into the oven. And in lieu of an all purpose flour crumble topping, I use a bit of brown rice flour and an ancient grain oatmeal that has gluten-free oats, amaranth, and hemp amongst other ingredients. When I set out to make this recipe, I actually wanted to create a breakfast crumble I could give my little girl, and this does double duty - for breakfast or a simple dessert. I also used coconut sugar here - an unrefined sugar with a lot of antioxidants and lower glycemic effect; it's a bit sweeter than white sugar, so I used a lot less than other recipes you'll see out there.
Breakfast or not, this crumble is decadent - sweet ripe fruit with bits of sliced almonds topped with a buttery, crumb topping. Full-bodied and deeply flavored - breakfast never tasted so good!
Serves 6 to 8 / Yields (1) 9 1/2-inch pie dish
For the filling:
1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved (about 4 cups chopped)
5-6 stalks rhubarb (about a ½ lb), diced into ½ inch pieces
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons (good quality) sherry vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons coconut sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup sliced almonds
For the crumb topping:
½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup ancient grain oatmeal (rolled oats work great here too)
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup coconut sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes (plus a bit more for greasing)
Preheat the oven to 375° F.
In a medium bowl, mix together all of the filling ingredients. Let marinate 10-15 minutes while preparing the topping.
In a food processor, add the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pulse until uniformly mixed. Scatter the cold cubes of butter and pulse until a coarse meal forms. Don't let it run for too long because the butter will warm up and start to clump.
Grease a 9 ½-inch pie dish with a bit of butter and place on a baking sheet (to catch any juicy overflow). Add the strawberry-rhubarb mixture. Top with the crumb topping and bake for 35 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the crumble topping has browned up.
Serve warm as is for breakfast or with a bit of ice cream or whipped cream for dessert.