One of the things I love most about summer is the sudden appearance of fruit desserts. I’ve seen them pop up just about everywhere, from the fanciest of restaurants to my friend’s laid back weeknight BBQ. The varieties are endless, beginning with berries in June and transferring over to peaches and other stone fruits as the season progresses. Even the toppings differ, ranging from streusels to sweet puffy biscuits.
My personal favorite fruit dessert is the crumble, a simple dish of baked fruit with oats in the topping. The oats compliment the already delicious combination of flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon, adding a touch of crunch to each bite. If you’re curious about the distinctions between summer fruit desserts, like what makes a crumble different from a crisp, check out this article via the Huffington Post.
There are a few options for the filling. Purists will stick with one fruit, but I always prefer two (and a touch of zest, if you have it!). This particular crumble features strawberries and rhubarb, balancing tart and sweet flavors. Both fruits are on the watery side, however, so add corn starch to the mix if you prefer a thicker filling.
From start to finish, crumbles should take no longer than an hour to prepare. And don’t forget – while you’re waiting for the fruit to bake, run out and buy a pint of vanilla ice cream. You’ll thank me later.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Recipe (adapted from William-Sonoma Essentials of Baking)
- 6 stalks of rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 2.5 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered (if large)
- scant 1/2 cup sugar (I used a bit less)
- juice and zest of half a lemon
- 1 cup of flour, spooned and leveled
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a square Pyrex dish (about 8 x 8)
- In a large bowl, mix together fruits, white sugar, and lemon juice. Stir to combine and pour into the prepared dish.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, and oats. Slowly add the melted butter and stir until small clumps begin to form.
- Spoon crumbs onto the fruit mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top crumbs are golden brown. Let cool and serve.