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Rhubarb Crumble has just the right crumble in your mouth, thanks to a well-tested topping that’s versatile and comforting. Tart rhubarb first roasts in this recipe and then simmers into the perfect gooey-sweet tangy base. Welcome spring and summer with this beautiful, first crop from the garden dessert that’s both Gluten-free and Paleo.
Rhubarb — That tall, slender, pink friend, who takes us tartly by the hand to tell us: “Spring is here. I’m not a fruit, but I taste like one. Let me walk you slowly toward strawberries and peas. But, for now, be content with me.” She is first to whisper, “Fruity” when the winds of winter still howl. Embrace her! Let us go into our gardens, amidst the others at the again-sprouting farmer’s markets. Let us find her and when we do, we proclaim that seasonal foods matter: They are more healthful, and they are excitingly local.
The Topping and Filling
This crumble has the perfectly-textured topping, one I “messed around with” a lot, to get it just right. And the filling bakes first, so it’s plenty tender and cozy without the topping getting too dark.
If you haven’t enjoyed rhubarb before, it’s lemony with echoes of berry. It starts out (raw) crunchy and stringy, like celery, but cooks to be like applesauce (but better).
Cinnamon Ice Cream
Years ago, in Julian, CA, I had rhubarb pie with cinnamon ice cream. It was one of those desserts you never forget. The combination of flavors is perfect. That warm cafe with my husband; the town is so special: the heat, the smells, the childhood memories (I spent seven consecutive summers at camp in Julian). I had to share with you the same combination. So, if you’re inclined, I include with this Rhubarb Crumble recipe, below it, a perfect and creamy Cinnamon Ice Cream recipe.
Enjoy with or without. Wow, such good flavors together that, with a comforting zing, ring in this new time of year for which I, for one, yearn.
One other topping/side option, here’s a sublime Vanilla Custard recipe (dairy or dairy-free versions).
The Crumble Topping
- 6 cups rhubarb chopped into 1" pieces
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey, coconut sugar, or stevia to taste
- 3 Tablespoons butter or coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons sustainably-sourced gelatin, see source in Recipe Notes
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9"x13" or other large casserole dish.
- Place cassava flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar, and sea salt into food processor. Pulse briefly to combine. Add butter and pulse repeatedly to combine, until largest butter pieces are no bigger than pea size.
- Add egg yolks and pulse again until meal begins to clump in places. Set aside while you assemble the rhubarb.
- In casserole dish combine rhubarb, water, sweetener, and gelatin, tossing to combine with two large spoons. Dot with small pieces of the butter or preferred fat.
- Bake rhubarb alone first, without the topping, for 25 minutes in preheated oven.
- Remove casserole dish from oven; add topping: If you wish, use your hands to squeeze small clumps of the dough together. Cover the surface of the rhubarb with both clumps and small crumbles of dough. Or just spread the fine crumble all over.
- Bake crumble an additional 25 minutes, until the sides are very bubbly, the center is very hot and the topping is golden brown.
And here’s that optional creamy loveliness, Cinnamon Ice Cream:
Cinnamon Ice Cream
- Place all ingredients in blender and puree until blended, about 10 seconds. (Don't over-blend if using heavy cream or it will turn to butter.)
- Pour into frozen ice cream maker cylinder, freezing according to manufacturer's instructions. Serve; or freeze to harden more before scooping.