We’ve been on a serious fruit binge around here. We’re pretty much going through a pint of strawberries a day, if not more. And don’t try to sneak a strawberry around Owen. He will sniff you out and crawl up to your knees and beg like the world’s cutest puppy, leaving you strawberry-less.
We had almost the perfect 4th yesterday. We stayed home, all day. Eric had no freelance work to do. And we were outside for hours. Owen discovered the wonder that is the kiddy pool, and even began to enjoy our homemade water slide after a few initial splashes that caught him off guard. I took a 90-minute nap, which is a prerequisite to any perfect day of mine, and we ate like summer kings: grilled burgers, french fries, and of course, lots of fruit.
The only reason I say it was almost the perfect 4th is that we missed out on fireworks. We figured that keeping Owen up two and a half hours past bedtime and then exposing him to really loud noises would probably not go all that well. So, we lit a sparkler for him in the backyard, in what was pretty much still broad daylight. Mesmerizing.
Summer days like yesterday should definitely end with crumble. Specifically, my favorite strawberry rhubarb crumble. We make this a few times every year while rhubarb is in season. The key to this crumble is in well, the crumble. In addition to crumble topping standbys like flour, sugar, and butter, you add lemon zest and Turbinado sugar (or sugar in the raw). The zest lends this particularly lovely citrusy zing to every bite of sweetened strawberry-rhubarb filling, and the Turbinado sugar, with its large grains, adds the perfect slight crunch to the crumble topping.
Usually with specialty items like Turbinado sugar, I’m quick to substitute something more accessible and that I already have on hand, but I can’t recommend using Turbinado sugar in this recipe highly enough. I bought a bag of it like four years ago when I first made this recipe, and I’m still digging out of the same bag today, using it pretty much only for this crumble, even though I’m sure it would be delicious on other baked goods. Please don’t skip the Turbinado. (Will someone please make a t-shirt that says that?)
(recipe slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen )
(yields 8-10 servings, depending on portion size)
This strawberry rhubarb crumble is a standard in our house each spring / early summer. Easy to assemble, the crumble topping is perfect with its lemon-zest kicks and Turbinado sugar crunch. I adapt this recipe by making 1 1/2 times the amount of crumble topping in the original recipe from Smitten Kitchen. The crumble ingredients listed below reflect the 1 1/2x (did the math for you!) I've tried just doubling it, and shockingly, it was just too much crumble to fruit (I know, I didn't know that was a thing either.)
For the topping (listed as 1 1/2x the amount as the original recipe from Smitten Kitchen):
1 1/2 c. + a heaping 1/3 c. of all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
4 1/2 tbsp. sugar
4 1/2 tbsp. Demerara sugar (or turbinado sugar aka Sugar in the Raw)
Zest of 1 1/2 lemons
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
1 1/2 c. rhubarb (about 6 medium stalks), chopped into small 1/2-inch pieces
1 quart strawberries plus a few extras, hulled, quartered (if large)
Juice of one lemon
1/2 c. sugar
3 to 4 tbsp. cornstarch
Pinch of salt
Heat oven to 375°F.
Prepare topping: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugars and lemon zest and add the melted butter. Mix until small and large clumps form. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
Grease your baking dish with cooking spray, wiping with a paper towel to make sure the entire surface is covered. (I use a deep oval 2.5-qt. dish; a deep 9-in. pie plate would work too.)
Toss rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt into the baking dish and stir gently to combine.
Remove topping from refrigerator and cover fruit thickly and evenly with topping. Place baking dish in oven. On the rack beneath the rack your baking dish is on, place a foil-lined cookie sheet to catch any drips.
Bake until crumble topping is golden brown in places and fruit is bubbling beneath, about 40 to 50 minutes.
This is best served the same day (with vanilla ice cream!). You can keep it a day or two more, but your crumble topping won't be quite as crisp. I recommend keeping it, covered, in the fridge.