The strawberries are here! If you were anywhere near the farmers’ market at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn a week or two ago, you may have heard me singing the praises of the season. After what seemed like an endless winter, and more than three feet of snow here in New York City, those ruby red orbs of fruit were enough to make me do a happy dance.
In fact, my excitement took hold and I found myself buying four more quarts of berries at another farmers’ market three days later. My intention was to start stockpiling homemade jam, but I realized I was out of pectin, so it was time to go to plan B.
At first my thoughts went to pie, strawberry rhubarb to be precise. Then I decided to make my lazy girl’s version of pie and went with a crumble after browsing around Heidi Swanson’s blog, 101 Cookbooks. Last year I created a lovely, nutty oat crumb topping, as a way to skip making a double piecrust. This time I decided why fuss with a crust at all, since I love the crunchy texture a good crumb topping lends to each spoonful of the jammy fruit filling. I’ve since bought pectin to get jamming season underway, but this crumble has nothing to worry about—it’s definitely here to stay for the long haul.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
Serves 8 to 10
For the topping:
1 cup (115 grams) old fashioned oats
1/2 cup (70 grams) whole almonds
1/4 cup (60 grams) packed brown sugar, light or dark
Pinch of kosher salt
4 tablespoons (2 ounces butter) melted, plus more to coat baking dish
For the filling:
2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) strawberries, stems removed and cut into quarters
4 stalks (12 ounces) rhubarb, tough ends trimmed & cut into 3/4 inch pieces
3/4 cup (6 ounces/150 grams) natural cane sugar
1 tablespoon (10 grams) cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie deep dish pie plate with butter; set aside.
- To prepare the topping, place the oats in the bowl of food processor. Pulse a few times until they become coarse textured. Add the almonds and continue pulsing until the oats break down into a medium-fine textured flour and the nuts are finely chopped. Add the brown sugar and salt; pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.
- Transfer mixture to a small bowl, drizzle melted butter over the top and rub together with fingers until the oat-almond mixture combines to form little pea-size clumps.
- In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar and cornstarch together until combined. Pour the fruit mixture into the prepared pie plate and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the filling. Bake for 35 minutes, until the topping is deep golden and the fruit juices are bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before serving. Leftovers should be stored covered in the refrigerator.