Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

When two flavors go together as well as strawberries and rhubarb, you put them together as often as possible! This strawberry rhubarb crisp is a pleaser for anyone who loves the famous flavor duo.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp in a blue pan on a blue striped towel with white bowls and blue checkered napkins all on a white wooden table.

Perfect Spring Dessert

Rhubarb is only in season in the spring, from May to early June, making this strawberry rhubarb crisp the perfect spring dessert. It’s also perfect that rhubarb is a perennial plant that pops up out of the ground in many home gardens, so this treat can really be homegrown and made from scratch every spring like a rite of passage. 

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Rhubarb and strawberries on a wooden board with knives, bowls and a pan nearby.

Strawberries and Rhubarb

Rhubarb, though delicious, is very tart and needs some help (ie sugar) to make it really palatable. That’s why you’ll find rhubarb recipes are usually desserts (although you might check out this recipe for savory rhubarb orange sauce over chicken breasts) and often paired with sweet strawberries. While I did think about using a different berry or fruit to go with the rhubarb in this recipe, sometimes a flavor combo is popular for a very good reason – it can’t be beat. Strawberries and rhubarb are sort of like that.

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Rhubarb cut into chunks on a wooden cutting board.

How to Cut Rhubarb

One of the most interesting things about rhubarb is how it breaks down when cooked. It almost dissolves into a thick fibrous compote of sorts, which blended with the other flavors makes it so delicious. Because of those fibers, however, it is important to cut the rhubarb so that the fibers are not too long. Simply cut across the stalks with a sharp knife into evenly sized slices.  

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A saucepan with butter and a bowl with ingredients and a wooden spoon on a white wooden table.

Crisp Topping

There are lots of ways to make a crisp topping. It always includes sugar, flour and butter, but you can add a number of different ingredients to give it a little more texture, crisp and chunks. This recipe uses rolled oats, but you could instead use walnuts, pecans, panko breadcrumbs or torn day old bread. Don’t skimp on the butter because it’s the butter that helps give those ingredients the crisp they need.

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Strawberries and rhubarb in a bowl with a wooden spoon and a second bowl with crumble topping on a white wooden table.

How to Make a Crisp

To make this simple strawberry rhubarb crisp, mix the fruit with cornstarch, sugar and a little salt in one bowl, combine the crisp topping in a second bowl and then put the two together. I like to use a shallow pan for the ideal fruit to crisp ratio. If the pan is too deep, you get a good dose of fruit, but not enough of the crunchy topping. 

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A hand spreading crumble topping on a strawberry rhubarb crisp in a blue baking pan.

Baking Time

Slow and steady is key to making a perfect crisp. Set your oven to 350ºF and let it go for at least 35 minutes, if not 45. The moderate temperature is enough to turn the fruit into the stewy sweet compote you want without over-browning the top too much. When you think the crisp is done, test it with a paring knife, inserting it into the fruit below the topping. There should be absolutely no resistance. If the fruit feels a little firm but the topping can’t afford to brown any more, simply cover the top loosely with aluminum foil and return the pan to the oven for another 10 minutes or so.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp in a blue pan on a blue striped towel with white bowls and blue checkered napkins all on a white wooden table.

How to Serve 

Strawberry rhubarb crisp should be served warm or room temperature. A scoop of ice cream (maybe even this delicious strawberry ice cream) or dollop of whipped cream is a perfect match. If you have leftovers, cover well and store at room temperature for one day, or refrigerate for up to a week. Always re-heat the crisp in the oven for 20 minutes or so to heat it all the way through and re-crisp the top.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 35 m
  • Total Time: 50 m
  • Servings:
    6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound strawberries sliced
  • 1 pound rhubarb cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 to 4 stalks)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup cornstarch
Topping:
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. To make the topping, combine the brown sugar, rolled oats, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pour the melted butter into the topping mixture and combine well with a fork until the mixture looks crumbly. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, mix together the sugar, salt and cornstarch. Add the strawberries and rhubarb. Toss to coat the fruit with the sugar mixture. Pour the fruit mixture into a 7-inch x 9-inch baking pan or a 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the strawberries and rhubarb.
  4. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top has nicely browned and the fruit below is bubbling. If you’ve filled your pan to the top, or if you are using a shallow pan, place a baking sheet on the rack below the crisp to catch any drips.
  5. Let rest at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.
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Comments (3)Post a Reply

  1. Hi Meredith,
    While I love anything with rhubarb in it I grew up with a mother and grandmother who used only rhubarb in some recipes as in pies. I am weary of so many mixed recipes for rhubard, so, could you recommend any sites online where rhubarb is given queen status in recipes. Any info would be appreciated….and hugs to your marvelous Loulou and Hazel who only add joy to the world!

    1. Hi Diane. I’m afraid I don’t have any sites in particular to recommend to you for specifically rhubarb recipes. I would just check out your favorite cooking sites to see what they do with rhubarb. Some of my favorites are thekitchn, simplyrecipes, nytimes, sallysbakingaddiction, …

  2. 5 stars
    I just made this Crisp this morning. I personally would add just a little more white sugar to counter act the tartness of the rhubarb. Other than that it’s a lovely summer dessert, especially
    when served at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Just make it!

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