Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
Crumbles are such humble desserts — and yet, they’re so very scrumptious. Between the buttery topping and the sweet fruit, we could eat one every week. Here, we’ve used the classic combination of strawberry and rhubarb with an old-fashioned oat and toasted hazelnut topping to create a bright, balanced crumble.
We start by scraping fresh vanilla bean into the sugar that coats the fruit. It’s a sort of fancy, very fun technique that adds a subtle floral quality and a dry, earthy note to the puckery rhubarb and sweet strawberries. And to bring out the flavors of all that fruit — and make it all the more gooey and jammy — we let it macerate for about a half hour in the fridge.
For the topping, we combine butter, flour, and sugar with the oats and toasted hazelnuts. In the oven, all the sugar caramelizes around the edges of the hazelnuts, creating a crunchy, candy-like coating. It’s totally irresistible. There’s also just enough of the oat-y stuff — by which we mean, the ratio of nutty, buttery crumble to sweet-tart fruit is perfect. With a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream, it’s even better.
We’d make this crumble on a weekend, and then reap the sweet benefits throughout the week. (A big helping after that two-hour-long Zoom meeting? If you insist!) But like all crumbles, it’s also easy enough for a weeknight dessert, and totally worth the few extra minutes spent in the kitchen.
¾ stick unsalted butter, chilled, cut into ½” cubes, plus more for greasing pan
⅔ cup plus ½ cup granulated sugar, divided
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 lb strawberries, hulled and halved
12 oz rhubarb, ends trimmed, cut into ½” pieces
¾ cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt, to taste
½ cup old-fashioned oats
½ cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted, husked, and coarsely chopped
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 375°. Generously grease the bottom and sides of a medium-size casserole dish with butter.
To make the filling: Place ½ cup granulated sugar in a large bowl. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the sugar and whisk together. Add the strawberries and rhubarb and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To make the topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, remaining ⅔ cup granulated sugar, and a large pinch of kosher salt.
Add the unsalted butter and, using your fingertips, rub it into the flour until the mixture sticks together in clumps.
Add the old-fashioned oats and hazelnuts and toss until evenly distributed. Cover and chill until ready to use. Note: the topping can be made 1 day ahead.
Pour the fruit filling into a prepared baking dish, spreading it evenly, and then sprinkle the oat topping over it.
Bake the crumble until the filling is thick and bubbles, and the topping is golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.
Spoon the warm crumble into bowls. Serve with ice cream.
Recipe adapted from: epicurious