Cheer yourself up with this beautiful strawberry rhubarb crisp.During these dark and surreal times, we need all the beauty we can get. And Spring herself is cooperating (aside from the snow squalls and wind storms, that is). There are cherry blossoms snowing pink. House finches and morning doves singing. Magnolias unfolding their velvet petals. Trees budding pale lacy greens and soft sun-yellows. And love. There is a lot of that going around, too. If you seek it out- it's literally all around us. Everywhere you look. On Instagram and social media folks around the world are lifting spirits sharing their dance moves, voices, and sweet, kind gestures of appreciation, faith, creativity, and camaraderie.
So in spite of the awful, horrible, no good, very bad virus, the human spirit remains strong. And Spring has launched her magic to remind us that the world still holds such beauty.
In light of our shared collective predicament, I thought you might be craving something different this week- something less typical than my Banana Nut Bread or Coconut Almond Raspberry Jam Bars (though, thank Goddess for those tried and true mainstays!). Something like a comforting, old school crisp and crumble dessert- the easiest of baked fresh fruit sweets. Lovely for a springtime picnic on your back porch steps, or a virtual weekend get-together on FaceTime.
I decided to play around with an alternative topping to the classic pairing of tart rhubarb and sweet ripe strawberries. And I grabbed a secret ingredient from my baking pantry.
Can you guess what it is?
The secret ingredient in this old fashioned crumble dessert is an ingredient your grandmother probably never heard of.
Quinoa flakes. Gluten-free quinoa cereal flakes add a distinct, toasty and delicate flavor to this fruit crumble's topping. The texture is light and lovely.
We thought it was spectacular.
And as a bonus?
This gluten-free dessert is xanthan gum free, by the way.
If you have only oats- or oatmeal cereal flakes- you can use those, too, Darling. Crisps are born for improvisation.
Stay safe, stay strong, and bake up something delicious.
Karina's Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp RecipeRecipe originally posted April 2011 by Karina Allrich.
You'll notice something missing in my strawberry rhubarb filling. Cornstarch. Why? I'm not a fan. It's a texture issue. Cornstarch makes pie and crumble fillings a tad slimy. I also don't cook my fruit crumbles and crisps to death. I prefer my fruit tasting fresh, plump, and juicy. I'm not a fan of mushy.
2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved (or quartered for large berries)
1 cup rhubarb, trimmed, halved lengthwise, sliced into pieces
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar or touch of agave
1/2 cup quinoa cereal flakes
1/2 cup gluten-free millet flour (or sorghum flour)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup organic light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup butter, Earth Balance Stick, or 1/3 cup softened organic coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x9-inch baking or gratin dish (or use two smaller baking dishes, like I did).
Combine the strawberries and rhubarb in a bowl and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Toss to coat. Dump them into the greased baking dish and distribute the fruit evenly.
In a separate bowl, combine the quinoa cereal flakes, millet flour, chopped pecans, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt. Add the butter/Earth Balance in pieces; using your hands, rub the butter and dry mixture together to create a sandy, crumbly texture.
Sprinkle the crumble topping over the fruit.
Bake in the center of a pre-heated oven till browned and slightly bubbling. Check for desired tenderness with a fork. I baked mine for 25 minutes because I don't like my fruit overcooked. If you prefer your fruit traditionally soft, bake it for 35 minutes.
Set the crumble aside on a rack and allow it to cool a bit before serving. I love it slightly warm from the oven. A scoop of coconut milk vanilla ice cream is entirely optional.
Cook time: 25 min
Yield: Serves 4
Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
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Astute readers will notice this is also a gum-free recipe, for those of you avoiding xanthan gum and guar gum.
To replace the pecans, chopped walnuts or pistachios would be delightful. For nut-free omit the nuts, and add a little more quinoa flakes and millet flour to make up the difference.
I love the taste of millet flour with these complex flavors, but if you cannot use millet flour, certified gluten-free oat flour, sorghum flour, or brown rice flour should work. Quinoa flour would be overpowering with the quinoa flakes. I'd stay away from any starchy white flours.
If you prefer your filling sweeter, add more sugar.
If you are sugar-free, adjust the sugar content with your sweetener of choice.
And yes, for those of you using moo-cow dairy, you can use real butter if you prefer.
To replace other ingredients, please see my post Baking Substitution Help.
More: Check out Nicole's lovely Strawberry-Rhubarb Fool at Pinch My Salt for an elegant spring treat.