The Recipe ReDux: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

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Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp

The rhubarb in my garden is nearly ready – but still a little immature for one of my favorite desserts: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. Luckily, I had some rhubarb frozen from last year. I’ve used up most of the frozen rhubarb, but about January – when spring seems so long to come, rhubarb becomes ever so precious and I just can’t bear to use up the last bag. But of course now, I’ve saved it too long…as I’m only a week or so away from fresh stalks of ruby red rhubarb. So The Recipe ReDux challenge for “First Shoots of Spring” is the perfect ‘special occasion’ to use up the last bag of frozen rhubarb.

My version of Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is also gluten-free (Ina’s version on which this recipe is very loosely based is not!). We’re having friends for dinner and their little girl has celiac disease. Since our dinner invitation was upon short notice, I looked everywhere for a crisp recipe that included ingredients I already had in my kitchen. I couldn’t find one. So I developed this one with ingredients you probably already have in the pantry – possibly barring arrowroot starch which I did have in my cupboard. I used stone-ground cornmeal from the Graue Mill near my house. The grist mill uses their grinding stone for corn only, so I know it’s gluten-free. And wow, did it ever provide some nice earthy crunch along with the oatmeal; honestly, I may start making all my crisps with this topping – who needs flour?

Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp

The Recipe Redux: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Makes 9-12


  • 4 cups fresh rhubarb, 1/2-inch diced (4 to 5 stalks)
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • Grated zest from 1 orange
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free oats
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal (I use stone-ground gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, diced


  1. For the fruit, toss the rhubarb, strawberries, granulated sugar and the orange zest together in a large bowl. In a small cup, mix arrowroot starch with 1-2 tablespoons of water (or any juices collected from the berries and rhubarb.) Pour fruit into 9-by-9-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  2. For the topping, in the bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, oatmeal and cornmeal. With a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture crumbles.
  3. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit, and bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Serve warm or room temp with ice cream.

Rhubarb Plant

Do you grow rhubarb – or have you seen it at the farmers market yet?

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  1. says

    so sorry to miss this month’s challenge… but we would have been like minded. i had rhubarb on the mind. your crisp looks delightful and it is a double treat that it’s gluten-free! may just have to make this one.

    • Serena says

      Oh we’ll certainly miss you Gretchen! But I would be super interested in what you think of the crisp when you make it – since you’re the gluten-free expert!

  2. says

    I love rhubarb as you can tell from my ReDux this month. It epitomises comfort food to me. Eve today my mum will bring me little pots of stewed fruit with Golden Syrup for my breaky – love through food! This crisp looks heavenly. I think we call the same thing crumbles down under Serena, yes?

    • Serena says

      Emma! I’ve been wondering what to do with the Golden Syrup sitting in my pantry…now I know!!! What could be better? Another rhubarb recipe to try!

  3. says

    Oh, yum! I really haven’t eaten much rhubarb since my mom made pie when I was a child. So cool that you have it growing in your garden,and I love that you added cornmeal to your crisp topping-I’ve never tried that before. Can’t wait to make this yummy crisp!

    • Serena says

      Now apple and rhubarb is something I haven’t seen a lot of…yet! Thanks for the scoop Nina…will have to try that combo!!

  4. says

    Oh, boy does this look amazing! I’m waiting for my measly crop of rhubarb to mature…and my fingers are crossed that I have enough to make your crisp :)

    • Serena says

      My rhubarb crop started out late and tiny this year too, Liz. But it’s growing steadily! Good luck Liz!!

    • Serena says

      Oh, the rhubarb options are endless Avital! Sweet: Crisps, pies, cobblers: paired with apples or strawberries. Savory: Sauces for pork. Have fun experimenting!

  5. says

    I’m not a big fan of rhubarb. I think it’s the texture that gets to me. I’ve only enjoyed it a few ways, such as strawberry-rhubarb pie. Your crisp looks healthier than a pie. I’ll have to give it a try. I haven’t seen rhubarb in my markets yet. Perhaps in the next month.

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