Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble (gluten-free + vegan option)

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A modern take on Old-Fashioned Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble with tips for the most perfect and best crumble topping EVER! Gluten-free + Vegan Option included! The best Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp recipe ever! Jump to Recipe

a serving of strawberry rhubarb crumble served with a dollop of whipped cream in a small blue baking dish

This is the best Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble recipe ever! It comes with the perfect crumble topping – crunchy buttery crispy! And the ratio of fruit to topping is ideal! An explosive burst of flavor – the strawberries and rhubarb pair perfectly with the added ginger and offer the perfect combination of sweet, tangy, and warmth.

Whether you call it a crisp or crumble, this easy strawberry rhubarb dessert best summer treat ever! You will love the crumbly and crunchy brown sugar and pistachio streusel topping! The perfect texture and level of sweetness. We love this strawberry rhubarb crumble served warm with scoops of homemade rhubarb ice cream.

perfect Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble served with whipped cream in an individual baking dish

Rhubarb Crumble vs Rhubarb Crips – what’s the difference anyway? 

As the name suggests, a crisp is a baked fruit dessert topped with a crisp and crunchy layer of ingredients. The crisp topping can include a proportion of sugar, butter, oats, nuts, flour, and spice such as cinnamon! It’s all over a somewhat granular look and the dessert is baked just until the topping is crisp and golden.

 Crumble is synonymous with Crisp in the U.K. and Australia, but in Canada and the U.S. there is a difference. Like a crisp, a crumble is a baked fruit dessert with a topping. But unlike the crisp, the crumble topping rarely includes oats but is more like a streusel, made with flour, sugar, and butter. A crumble topping is generally more clumpy than a crisp topping! However, not. as clumpy as a cobbler topping. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble with pistachio streusel topping in a blue casserole dish

So strictly speaking, my strawberry rhubarb crumble could also be called a crisp as I have some nuts in there. However, the topping is a traditional German butter streusel recipe so I would put this into the crumble corner. 

The secrets to making the perfect crumble topping

Add nuts to your crumble topping

There is nothing wrong with a simple flour, butter, and sugar crumble topping, but for extra crunch I like adding nuts for contrast with the pudding-like fruit filling. My favorite crunchy components are chopped pistachios but any nuts work!  Or go healthy and sprinkle in some oats. A light dusting of Demerara sugar adds a beautiful, caramelized finish to your crumble topping.

Bake your crumble topping separately! 

We all love that crumb topping but resist the urge to add too much topping, or your crisp will become dense and fatty and won’t crisp up all the way. How can we still get the maximum amount of crisp with our fruit? Enter my secret hack to the most perfect, and best crumble topping ever! You might notice the recipe makes a lot of streusel topping! This is because I bake half of it separately on a small baking sheet or brownie pan! It works like a charm. Just sprinkle half of your streusel over the rhubarb filling, the other half on a baking sheet, and pop it all in the oven together. The streusel will be done after about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your streusels. Watch it closely, it’s prone to burning.  I sprinkle some extra streusel on top of each serving serve the rest in a bowl on the side for everyone so sprinkle on! 

Don’t skip the cornstarch in the filling: 

Don’t be tempted to skip the cornstarch. Strawberry and rhubarb tend to turn into fruit soup. Don’t have cornstarch on hand? You can use substitutions like flour, arrowroot, potato starch, and tapioca.

a spoon of strawberry rhubarb crumble with perfect crumble topping with pistachio nuts

Make a vegan crumble 

This Strawberry rhubarb crumble recipe is easily made vegan and dairy-free: simply swap out the butter for margarine, dairy-free, or vegan butter. Coconut oil might be another option but I have not tried that one.

Make it gluten-free

For a gluten-free strawberry rhubarb crumble swap out the flour for gluten-free flour.

Can I use frozen fruit to make a crumble?

Yes, you can! I used frozen rhubarb in this recipe before, so I can confirm it works.

old-fashioned strawberry rhubarb crumble with pistachio streusel topping served in a small blue casserole dish

Storing leftover crumble:

You’ll want to cover any leftover strawberry rhubarb crumble and refrigerate it. If you don’t like to eat it cold straight from the fridge, you can warm it in the microwave or in the oven.

Can you freeze strawberry rhubarb crumble?

You can freeze this crumble if need be but I’m not a huge fan of the consistency it has once you defrost it. I find the topping less crisp and the fruit gets a tad too soggy. I much prefer to eat strawberry rhubarb crumble fresh! 

How to fix a soggy crumble: 

If you follow my secret method, there is no way your streusel crumble topping could get soggy! Because even if the crumble on the fruit doesn’t crisp up to your liking, you still have the streusel you baked separately. However, things happen. Maybe your butter was not cold when you made your crumble or your oven was too cold! I find precooking the filling with some cornstarch, really helps against sogginess.

a spoon digging into a serving of strawberry rhubarb crisp with pistachio crumble topping

Tips for the best strawberry rhubarb crumble ever:

  • Measure out the crumble topping ingredients using a scale if you have one. If using tbsps and you feel your topping is still too dry and crumbly, add a bit more butter, a tablespoon at a time.
  • Feel free to add in chopped apples or pears! This adds more bulk to the crumble and makes it taste milder.
  • This crumble recipe works with any other fruit you like!
  • For a less tart rhubarb crumble, reduce the amount of rhubarb you use and replace it with another fruit of your choice. Apples, pears, and peaches are awesome.
  • Choose the right dish: everyone wants a bit of the crispy or crumbly topping with every bite of fruit filling. Using a dish that is too deep is not ideal as it forces you to bulk up the filling and your crumble to filling ratio will be off. Go for a medium-sized baking pan like in my pictures, or individual ramekins. And again, bake half of that streusel topping separately and serve in a bowl on the side for everyone so sprinkle on! 
  • Your crumble filling needs a little acidity to keep it from tasting clunky and overly sweet.

More Strawberry Rhubarb Desserts: 

Did you make and love this recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble? Give it your review below! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!

strawberry rhubarb crumble served with a dollop of cream in a small blue dish
5 from 1 vote
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Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble with Ginger & Amarettini Streusel

A modern twist on an Old-Fashioned Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with a generous crumbly topping with Amaretti Cookies and Pistachio Nuts to complement the tangy fruit filling. The recipe is best served warm with ice.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword easy strawberry rhubarb crisp, rhubarb crisp recipe, strawberry rhubarb crisp
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients

For the fruit

  • 5 stalks rhubarb cut into 1 cm pieces
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries cut into halves or quarters
  • 6 tablespoon muscovado sugar or coconut sugar more to taste
  • small piece ginger finely grated
  • 1 lemon 1 tsp zest and 2 tbsp juice - or 1 small orange
  • 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 1/2 - 2 tbsp water or orange juice

For the topping

  • 170 g flour about 1 1/3 cups
  • 1 handful of Amaretti biscuits or other cookies coarsely crushed 50 g
  • 100 g cold butter 6 tbsps
  • 85 g muscovado sugar or coconut sugar 1/2 cup
  • 85 g pistachios macadamia, walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds, roughly chopped - 1 cup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of fleur de sel

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly butter a round casserole dish.
  2. Make the streusel topping by putting all the ingredients into a large bowl. Now, using your fingertips rub the COLD butter into the dry ingredients to form the streusel topping. Place streusel in the freezer while you prepare the fruit filling.

  3. Toss the rhubarb slices into a wide saucepan with the sugar and 2 tbsp lemon or orange juice. Cook over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes until the rhubarb just begins to become slightly tender but is still holding shape. It will cook in the oven so don't overdo it. Stir in cornstarch slurry as well as the strawberries and, lemon peel and grated ginger. Taste for sweetness adding more sugar if needed. Spoon the mixture into the dish.

  4. Take the crumble topping from the freezer and sprinkle half if it over the filling. The other half on a baking sheet. Put both streusel and crumble in the oven. Bake the crumble in the oven for 30-45 minutes ( I cover the dish with aluminum foil for the first 20 min) or until the top is golden and the fruit is hot and bubbling. The streusel that you bake separately will be done after 10 - 15 minutes. Watch it closely. Remove the streusel and continue baking the crumble. Let streusel cool.

  5. Serve the crumble warm at room temperature with scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Recipe Notes

  • This Strawberry rhubarb crisp recipe is easily made vegan and dairy-free: simply swap out the butter for margarine, dairy-free, or vegan butter. Coconut oil might be another option but I have not tried that one.
  • Make it gluten-free by swapping out the flour for gluten-free flour.
  • I used frozen rhubarb in this recipe, so I can confirm it works.
  • Feel free to add in chopped apples, or other any fruit if you like!
  • For a less sour crisp, reduce the amount of rhubarb you use and replace it with another fruit of your choice. Apples, mangoes and peaches are awesome.
 

 

Comments

  1. Brittany Marie Wenzl

    5 stars
    Served this with your rhubarb ice cream and OH MY – best thing ever! Thanks!

  2. Julia Kerstin Gruber

    5 stars
    Oh Mann, die Kombi ist so gut! Ich hab noch ein paar Apfelspalten mit rein und das war super gut! Danke dir!

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