Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Perfect Pairing:  Last rhubarb of the season

There are not many desserts you can make with a vegetable.  Rhubarb is such a funny ingredient.  The raw form is anything but tasty, but once it is cooked with some sugar?  Amazing. 

During my childhood we had rhubarb growing in the backyard.  My dad kept a keen eye on its process and as soon as there was enough for a pie he would bring it to my mom.  His favorite thing in the world is rhubarb cream pie.  In fact, about 30 years ago my mom decided to start up her own business with Longaberger.  She needed a few hundred dollars for her start-up kit and asked my dad if they could spare the extra money.  He jokingly said he would lend it to her, but would charge interest of two rhubarb cream pies.  I am sure he would have said yes no matter what, but was serious about the pies.  It ended up being a very good investment on his part as my mom is still with Longaberger today!  I plan on making my dad a rhubarb cream pie this weekend for Father’s Day.  If you are looking for some manly recipes, check out last year’s Father’s Day post.

On a recent trip to the grocery store I saw a huge display of rhubarb.  I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but bought a bunch since I knew it was going to be going out of season soon.  I decided to make a quick dessert with rhubarb’s perfect pairing, strawberries.  This Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is so simple and delicious.  I used orange zest and juice to give it some freshness; it also helps to balance the sugar.  The topping is pretty standard, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts.  Of course this is best served warm with vanilla ice cream! 

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Lindsay at Perfecting the Pairing



·         2 cups halved strawberries

·         4 cups chopped rhubarb (one inch pieces)

·         1 ¼ cup sugar

·         2 ½ TB cornstarch

·         1 ½ cup water

·         1 tsp vanilla

·         1 tsp orange zest

·         2 TB fresh orange juice

·         ¾ cup flour

·         1 cup old fashioned oats

·         ½ cup brown sugar, packed

·         1 ½ tsp cinnamon

·         ¾ cup roughly chopped pecans or walnuts

·         1 pinch salt

·         5 TB butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray an 11x7 inch baking dish with cooking spray. 

Mix the strawberries and rhubarb and place in the bottom of the baking dish.  In a small saucepan, mix the sugar and cornstarch, stir in the water.  Bring the mixture to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly.  Allow to boil for 30 seconds to a minute, remove from heat.  Stir in the vanilla, orange zest, and juice until combined.  Pour evenly over the rhubarb and strawberry mixture. Do not stir.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nuts, and salt.  Stir to combine.  Pour the melted butter over the oat mixture and stir until everything is evenly coated.  Sprinkle the oat mixture over the rhubarb.  Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until the rhubarb is cooked through and the sauce is bubbly.  If your pan is really full you may want to put a baking sheet underneath to catch any drips.


  1. Kathy Rodgers PettitJune 16, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Lindsey, I loved this post! I am your dad's cousin and I guess it is a family trait to love our rhubarb. When I saw this recipe the other day, I knew I needed to make it for my dad (your Grandpa Bob's brother) for Father's Day.
    In addition to enjoying rhubarb in general, we have an emotional attachment to it: my rhubarb plant was originally brought East to New Jersey in the early 1970s by Grandma Lilla Rodgers, and when my dad sold his house in 2007, I inherited the rhubarb. So, it is entirely possible that the rhubarb in the strawberry-rhubarb crisp that we so enjoyed today is descended from the same rhubarb plants of your youth!
    Thanks for this recipe and the great story. I'll try and get a photo to you of Dad ready to dig into the dessert. His perfect pairing is the gigantic paddle he is eating with!

    1. Kathy, your comment absolutely made my day!! My mom shared the picture of your dad with the dessert on Facebook. So, so cute. I loved hearing the backstory on the rhubarb plant. You probably know that my brother named his little girl Lilla, so we love hearing Lilla stories. Thank you again! I hope you can find some other recipes you like here.


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