Serving-size strawberry rhubarb crumble.

Snacks & Treats

Big-Batch Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble

Apr 26, 2017

I had an idea a few years ago, one that would revolutionize my crumble and crisp-making between spring and fall, when various berries and fruits come in and out of season.

Crumbles of all kinds are some of our favourite desserts — from apples and pears to strawberries and rhubarb, just about any kind of fruit makes an amazing crumble. It’s far easier than pie, with similar results — warm, tart fruit and sweet, crunchy topping you can scoop up and serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Bonus: with a crumble or crisp, you don’t have to worry about the slices coming out cleanly.

Oats, butter, sugar in a mixing bowl.

The other great thing is that you can wing it: you don’t really need a precise quantity of fruit and sugar, you can use what you have. Fill a baking dish, toss with a bit of flour (more if you have juicy fruit, like berries) and sugar to taste (generally more than you think you need, but this depends on the tartness of the fruit and your taste), top with a rubble of butter, brown sugar, flour and oats and slide it into the oven. It can be fruit-heavy or crumble-heavy and it won’t matter at all. Bake it until it’s bubbly and golden and you have a fantastic dessert or even breakfast — why not serve a bubbling fruit crumble in the morning with yogurt and a cup of coffee? It makes an easy and unexpected addition to the brunch table, too.

Bags of freezer-ready crumble.

But here’s the best part: while you’re at it, you can make a big batch of the crumble mixture and freeze it in bags to sprinkle over whatever fruit happens to be in season, and all you’ll need to do is pit/hull/core/slice your fruit into your baking dish, sprinkle it with sugar and flour, shake over some crumble mixture and you’re done. Almost instant dessert! Frozen fruit works too — and the crumble mixture is just as delicious sprinkled over muffin or quick bread batter before baking, or scattered over a single-crust pie.

You'll Also Love: Quick And Easy Overnight Oats

Big-Batch Crumble

  • 2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose, barley or whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • a handful of sliced almonds, if you like

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all the ingredients, pulsing until they’re well blended and crumbly. If you want more texture, blend everything but the oats and almonds first, then pulse the oats and almonds in until they’re as coarsely chopped as you like. If you do it by hand, mash everything together in a large bowl with a potato masher, or rub it all together with your fingers.

Strawberry-rhubarb crumble ready for the oven.

It may look too dry, but when you dump it out into a bowl and rub it in between your fingers, it should clump together. If not, add a few tablespoons more butter, or even a squeeze of honey.

Makes enough for 3 pie-sized fruit crumbles; freeze extra in bags and use straight from the freezer.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble

  • 3-4 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2-3 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups crumble mixture above

Preheat the oven to 375˚F.

Fruit tossed in sugar.

Put the strawberries and rhubarb in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and flour; sprinkle over the fruit and toss to coat.

Transfer the fruit to a baking dish, pie plate or cast iron skillet, shaking all the excess sugar from the bottom of the bowl overtop. Scatter the crumble mixture over the fruit, squeezing to create larger clumps as you go.

Strawberries and rhubarb out of oven.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the fruit is soft and bubbling, and the topping is pale golden and crunchy. Serve warm, with ice cream or whipped cream. Serves 6-8.

Article Author Julie Van Rosendaal
Julie Van Rosendaal

Read more from Julie here.

Julie Van Rosendaal is the author of six best-selling cookbooks (with a seventh due out this fall), the food editor of Parents Canada magazine and the food and nutrition columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One. She is a recipe developer, TV personality, food stylist and writes about food for local, national and international publications. She is perhaps best known as the voice behind her popular food blog, Dinner with Julie, where she documents real life at home in Calgary with her husband and nine-year-old son. Connect on twitter @dinnerwithjulie.


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