Honest Fare

Pretty Provisions and Notes from the Kitchen

Ethereal Strawberry-rhubarb crumble

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Ethereal Strawberry-rhubarb crumble, Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold

Again with the strawberries? I know, I know. Guess that’s what happens when you fall for the ole 4 for $5 deal at the market. Strawberries are so in season right now and they’re just too gorgeous to resist. (P.S. Check the Favorites in my sidebar when you’re done here for more recipes using strawberries.)

Now, as for the rhubarb, I contemplated it for a while. Rhubarb is totally alien to me. I’ve been intrigued by it for some time now, but I’ve never actually cooked with it. With all the strawberries in my future though, I figured it might be a good time to try for a classic strawberry and rhubarb pairing.

The plan was to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie so I could finally use this pie plate I made a few months ago. But then the thought of rolling out a crust really turned me off…so I thought crumble?


One great thing about a fruit crumble, in contrast to a pie, is that you can scale it up or down depending on how much you feel like making – tiny, single serving crumbles or giant deep dish ones.

This crumble/topping comes together really easily and can be refridgerated until needed so you can go nuts and make fresh crumble for days if you wanted. A healthy amount of lemon zest combined with a little vanilla extract really set off the flavor. And please, don’t fight the butter factor. It’s necessary and it’s good. Just pretend you didn’t see it go in.


The rhubarb turned out perfectly. Tangy and so nice with the strawberries. I’m officially a fan. Next time, I think I’ll try for a savory use of it.

Oh yeah, and in case you’re wondering what uncooked rhubarb tastes like – it’s disgusting. Like unswallowable disgusting. (What? I was curious.)

Cooked rhubarb & strawberry crumble on the other hand, is incredible.


Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

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Coop/prep time: 50 mins. Serves 6-8 This recipe will work nicely with all kinds of fruits (peaches, cherries, apple, etc.) Enjoy warm out of the oven or at room temp. Stores great in the fridge and is equally tasty cold!

You need:

For the topping:

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar in the raw
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped (1-inch pieces)
  • 1 quart strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. 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. Refrigerate until needed.
    2. Prepare filling: Toss rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.
  3. Remove topping from refrigerator. If it has settled into one giant mound, rough it up a bit with your hands to create the crumbles again. Cover fruit thickly and evenly with crumble (and don’t forget to get the edges good).
  4. Place pie plate on a baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven and bake until crumble topping is golden brown in places and fruit is bubbling beneath, about 40 to 50 minutes. If your crumble starts to get too brown, but the fruit isn’t quite bubbling yet, cover it with aluminum foil and continue baking until it does.



  1. Posted April 14, 2010 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    Okay, this year I really am going to hunt down a rhubarb farm, or I’m going to smuggle a bunch back from Iowa when I visit family. Looks delicious!

  2. Posted April 14, 2010 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    I just picked up some local rhubarb from the farmers market and I’m so excited to make some kind of dessert. This pie looks really good, would you say it was more on the sweet or tart side?

  3. Brandi-Lee
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    I just wanted to say that first photo is LOVELY. Also this pie sounds delish!

  4. gabi
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    Jacqui – It definitely has some tart going on but the strawberries and the sugar in the filling really make it a perfect balance. Best of both ;)

  5. Posted April 14, 2010 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    This looks fabulous! A quick question – where did you find the dish you use for your clafouti? Is it just a pie or tart dish?

  6. gabi
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    I actually made the clafouti over at my aunt’s place so I’m not sure where the dish came from. It is a tart dish though!

  7. sheryl
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    uncooked rhubarb can be dangerous in large quantities

  8. gabi
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 11:24 PM | Permalink

    I know! I actually read that shortly after. Luckily I only had a bite and couldn’t even swallow it!

  9. Posted April 15, 2010 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

    This is one of my favorite combinations ever. My Mom used to make a compote of strawberries and rhubarb and we’d eat it on just about anything- ice cream, yogurt, cereal. It’s like a rite of passage in the springtime, and being a Minnesotan, rhubarb is almost a given for us. Your crumble looks amazing.

  10. Posted April 20, 2010 at 12:45 AM | Permalink

    The fruit is bubbling, the bowls are ready, and I’ve got vanilla ice cream waiting to melt on top of this delicious dessert. Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  11. Courtney
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 9:30 PM | Permalink

    Delicious! Five of us finished this off in one sitting, and I’m already craving more! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  12. Posted April 21, 2010 at 10:27 PM | Permalink

    thanks for relieving my post-dinner boredom by getting me back in the kitchen to finally do something with all those strawberries and rhubarb! yum!

  13. Posted April 22, 2010 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    For some reason I get really excited when Rhubarb is in season. I’ve made an unreasonable amount of Rhubarb based dishes this past week.

  14. Susan
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    Made it and loved it! This was my first foray into rhubarb and you’d better believe I’ll be back. Thanks for the inspiration.

  15. Susan in England
    Posted July 5, 2010 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

    I love strawberries and I love rhubarb but I’ve never had both in a crumble together- it’s gorgeous. My father in law grows lots of rhubarb so I’m always looking for new ways to use it. Thanks for posting!

    Raw rhubarb dipped in sugar is nice (bit chewy) but watch out for the side effects (erm- clears the digestive system quite effectively!!).

  16. Posted July 19, 2010 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    Looks VERY yummy! That’s a great idea to put crumble topping in fridge. Love your pie dish too.

  17. Posted April 17, 2012 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    I made this today and it was DELICIOUS! I am going to feature it on my blog soon and will, of course, give you the credit.
    I eat 90% paleo so I’m going to make a paleo version of this sometime too.
    Great, great, great!

  18. Jane
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    I made this today and the flavor is wonderful! Love the crumb topping! But the bottom of my pie crust did not cook, what am I doing wrong? I seem to have this problem other times, did you cook in a glass pie plate? I have a temp gauge in the oven so I know the temp was right and my rack is the next to the lowest rack.

  19. Diane
    Posted May 20, 2012 at 8:21 AM | Permalink

    I am looking forward to trying this crumb top for pie, but I just have to tell you that raw rhubarb is a wonderful little treat! If you grew up with miles of it in your back yard as I did it was a fun snack. We would find the longest stalk and carry it around with a little bit of sugar in a Dixie cup for dunking. The giant leaf made a great parasol on those hot summer days. Try it. You’ll like it!

  20. Annie
    Posted June 9, 2013 at 11:05 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the great recipe – it was the perfect solution for an abundance of strawberries and rhubarb at the farmstand!

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