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Berry Rhubarb Crisp (Gluten-Free)

May 30, 2013

Berry Rhubarb Crisp (Gluten-Free)Pin it!

I love a good dinner party; I have just as much love for the day after a good dinner party.

If we can manage to do all the clean-up that night– as my OCD demands– then the day after a dinner party starts out just right: a clean-ish, clutter-free apartment, still warm from the glow of good friends and good food, and no obligation to cook anything on any kind of a schedule… especially if you are practically swimming in leftovers.

Paula and I had a dinner party on Saturday (we made tapas!), and I served a rhubarb crisp à la mode for dessert.

Berry Rhubarb Crisp (Gluten-Free)Pin it!

The following day we were able to bask in our clean-ish apartment and luxuriate in our leftovers, with one major exception: the rhubarb crisp had been thoroughly devoured the night before.

This struck me as absurdly tragic… in other words, I think I may have a bit of a rhubarb obsession.

Rhubarb, raspberries, and strawberries for Berry Rhubarb Crisp

One (valid) excuse to go to the grocery store later, I’d gotten my hopes up for buying a bright new bundle of the pink celery when tragedy struck again: not a stalk of rhubarb was left in the store!

Crestfallen, and beginning to panic a little about the shortness of the rhubarb season (and the fleetingness of life), I was not to be comforted. (Despite Paula’s best efforts with words and with strawberries.)

Berry Rhubarb Crisp (Gluten-Free)

Paula then thought of calling our local farmer’s market-y produce store– where she’s on a first-name basis with the owner due to frequent kale and artichoke purchases– to ask if they had any rhubarb in. He responded that it was in high demand and hard to come by. This only amplified my panic.

Berry Rhubarb Crisp (Gluten-Free)

Finally, she thought of calling a different grocery store, farther down the road. The one-sided phone conversation I heard went like this:

Paula: Produce department, please.

Paula: Hi, do you guys have any rhubarb?

Paula: Great; we’re on our way! (Hangs up.)

This was followed by:

Me: Did you just hang up on that guy without even thanking him?

(Yes, yes she did.)

How to prepare rhubarb

Five minutes later I was loading up my basket with rhubarb in the other grocery store, and a produce guy, with a knowing smile, told me “you just called about that, didn’t you.”

He has probably secretly nicknamed me the crazy rhubarb lady.

Rhubarb, raspberries, and strawberries for Berry Rhubarb Crisp

My point is, if you have rhubarb in your farmer’s markets or grocery stores, you should buy it, eat it, and consider yourself lucky. (If you have rhubarb in your backyard, consider yourself even luckier!)

Not only should you buy it and eat it, but you should make this Berry Rhubarb Crisp in between.

Rhubarb, raspberries, and strawberries for Berry Rhubarb Crisp

For my dinner party Rhubarb Crisp, I used Mark Bittman’s recipe from the New York Times. It was excellent, and everyone loved (and devoured) it, but– dare I say it– this one is better.

Berry Rhubarb Crisp with Vanilla Ice CreamPin it!

Obviously, the addition of fresh strawberries and raspberries, roasted until they’re tender, sweet, and juicy, is only going to improve things… but this recipe’s crumble on top is better, too: I used more oats, more evenly distributed (roughly chopped) pecans, and almond flour instead of flour. (Despite finding almond flour somewhat frustrating to bake with in other contexts, I think crisps and crumble toppings are where it really shines.)

Berry Rhubarb Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream

So basically, I took an already-perfect recipe and made it even more perfect in a different way.

Remember that life is short and rhubarb season, even shorter.

Berry Rhubarb Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream

Print this recipe. (PDF)


Berry Rhubarb Crisp
(Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Rhubarb Crisp.)

(Serves 10)

~ 2½ – 3 lbs. rhubarb (about 5-6 cups, once chopped)
~ 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
~ ¼ cup sugar
~ 10 oz. (2 cups) fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
~ 6 oz. (1½ cups) fresh raspberries
~ 6 Tbsp. cold butter, roughly chopped
~ ⅔ cup brown sugar
~ 2 Tbsp. turbinado sugar (or use more brown sugar)
~ ½ cup almond meal/flour
~ ½ tsp. cinnamon
~ pinch of salt
~ 1 cup oats
~ ½ cup pecans, roughly chopped

How to make it:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with a little of the butter.

2. Peel away the stringy bits from the two long edges and the rounded side of the rhubarb, then chop into 1″ pieces. Toss the rhubarb in a large bowl with the lemon juice and sugar, then add the chopped strawberries and gently toss to combine.

Strawberries and rhubarb for Berry Rhubarb Crisp

3. Pour the rhubarb and strawberries into the greased baking dish, then scatter the raspberries over them.

4. Using a food processor, combine the butter, brown and turbinado sugars, almond flour, cinnamon, and salt by pulsing about 25 times until the butter is pea-sized. Then add the oats and pecans and pulse a few more times to mix everything together. Crumble the topping evenly over the fruit in the baking dish.

Ingredients for Berry Rhubarb Crisp (Gluten-Free)Making Berry Rhubarb Crisp (Gluten-Free)

5. Bake for 45-50 minutes in the top third of the oven. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Best served warm with vanilla ice cream!

(You can bake the crisp ahead of time for a party– I’d store it covered in the fridge if you make it the night before– then to re-heat it, first bring to room temperature, then warm in a non-preheated oven as it pre-heats toward 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes.)

Print this recipe! (PDF)

Berry Rhubarb Crisp (Gluten-Free)Pin it!

Berry Rhubarb Crisp (Gluten-Free)

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31 Comments leave one →
  1. May 30, 2013 9:17 am

    This looks delicious! I’m a sucker for a great berry crisp (as well as a great dinner party!) and rhubarb has been all over the farmers’ markets lately. This recipe is going in the arsenal!

    • May 30, 2013 9:36 am

      Thanks! I love to hear my recipes are going into someone’s arsenal! It’s already made it into mine too, considering I’ve now made it twice this week… :)

      Oh and “all over the farmers’ markets lately”? Lucky you!

  2. Darcy permalink
    May 30, 2013 10:14 am

    Hi! I haven’t been reading your blog for very long, but I don’t think you have a gluten intolerance…so I just want to point out that oats are not gluten-free unless they specifically say so, just because they are typically processed on the same equipment as wheat.

    PS, loved the guac photos!

    • May 30, 2013 10:17 am

      Hi Darcy, thanks for your comment! You’re right, (I don’t have a gluten intolerance and) it depends where you buy your rolled oats whether they are gluten-free or not.

      Trader Joe’s is one good source of gluten-free oats, but some other stores/bulk bins might not be.

  3. May 30, 2013 11:54 am

    I like anything with berries, but this dessert is a winner. I like how it easy and quick plus delicious.

  4. May 30, 2013 1:25 pm

    What a perfect crisp dessert my friend, I am sucker for this, it is a favourite :D


  5. May 30, 2013 2:05 pm

    What a perfect summer dessert! So many fresh berries and rhubarb to chose from here in Southern California. I will give this a try!

    • May 30, 2013 4:30 pm

      I know, we are so lucky to live in Southern California! I will never take for granted how much amazing fresh produce is available here (…even when I have trouble finding rhubarb, at least everything else is plentiful).

      I hope you do get a chance to try this– let me know how you like it! :)

  6. Thelma permalink
    May 30, 2013 8:45 pm

    This recipe sounds like a winner – I better make this before rhubarbs disappear this year! Your article mentioned roasting the berries but the recipe did not say to roast them. When in the process should the berries be roasted? or should I just skip it? Thanks.

    • May 31, 2013 8:40 am

      Thanks for your question, Thelma! I’m sorry I was unclear; I just meant that the berries take on a roasted quality when they bake inside the crisp. You don’t have to roast them separately or beforehand at all; just toss them in raw– with the rhubarb– as it says in the recipe instructions, and they’ll end up adding a roasted berry flavor to the dish.

  7. June 3, 2013 11:27 pm

    I love berries and this sounds like a terrific dessert to serve at a dinner party. YUM! :)

    • June 5, 2013 2:09 pm

      Yes! Totally a stress-free dinner party idea because you can easily make it ahead of time. (Although I have to say, Paula and I thoroughly enjoyed the one that I did not make for the dinner party, but just for us… we feasted on it every evening for almost a week!)

  8. June 4, 2013 3:54 am

    What’s with rhubarb lately? I see it everywhere! But hey, it is so delicious. Love this recipe and it looks so tasty/summery/fruity! Will try this asap :-)

  9. June 5, 2013 5:15 am

    I just finished a strawberry rhubarb pie last night. I’ll have to try your crisp the next time…it sounds good with the raspberries.

    • June 5, 2013 2:10 pm

      Yes, please do! I hope you like it. :)

      Strawberry rhubarb pie is one of my favorite things in the universe. (And the raspberries really added to the crisp, so they’d probably be really good tossed into a strawberry rhubarb pie, too!)

  10. June 5, 2013 10:03 am

    Hi! You have been awarded the “shine on award”. Please visit for details.

  11. June 6, 2013 4:44 am

    Perfect crisp recipe. Thanks.

  12. June 8, 2013 1:05 am

    Wow, this looks amazing! I have never cooked with rhubarb before, but this recipe looks to be a good place to start :)

    • June 13, 2013 10:56 am

      Yes! I love crisp recipes because they’re so straightforward, simple, and all about the fruit. Rhubarb is a weird and amazing vegetable-fruit, but it’s actually pretty easy to cook with!

  13. June 9, 2013 1:55 pm

    Your crisp looks just wonderful! I just made a rhubarb, strawberry & dried aprocot crisp! Check it out!


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