This crisp is made just like my pure Rhubarb Crisp, but with strawberries standing in for a portion of the rhubarb. They give the crisp a sweeter profile and more complex flavor, so use the best you can find.
Why It Works
- Whole wheat gives the streusel a graham cracker-like flavor.
- Anise seed and Chinese five-spice powder compliment rhubarb, coaxing out more of its natural aroma.
- Tapioca starch forms a light, clear gel that keeps the filling gooey and thick, never gloppy.
- Elderflower heightens the aroma of strawberries and rhubarb alike.
- Baking in stages creates the ideal ratio of gooey filling and tender fruit.
- Baking soda mellows the sharp acidity of rhubarb.
- Yield:Serves 12
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:2 hours
- For the Topping:
- 5 ounces light brown sugar (about 2/3 cup packed; 140g)
- 3 3/4 ounces whole wheat flour (about 3/4 cup, spooned; 105g)
- 4 ounces old fashioned rolled oats (about 1 1/3 cups; 115g)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon whole anise seed, optional
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 1/4 teaspoon (1g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
- 5 ounces unsalted butter, soft but cool, about 68°F (10 tablespoons; 140g)
- For the Filling:
- 2 pounds rhubarb cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 8 cups; 625g), from around twelve 24-inch stalks (34 ounces; 965g)
- 12 ounces trimmed strawberries, cut in half if large (about 2 cups; 340g)
- 10 1/2 ounces sugar (about 1 1/2 cups; 300g)
- 2 1/2 ounces tapioca flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill (about 2/3 cup; 75g)
- 2 ounces elderflower liqueur, or water (1/4 cup; 55g)
- 3/4 teaspoon (3g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- To Serve:
- 1 recipe Lemon or Orange Chantilly, optional
For the Topping: Combine brown sugar, whole wheat flour, rolled oats, cinnamon, anise seed (if using), five spice powder, salt, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to form a thick dough, about 5 minutes. Alternatively, this can be done by hand. Transfer to a zip-top bag and refrigerate until needed, up to one month.
For the Filling: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, and preheat to 400°F. In the same bowl (no need to wash), combine 22 ounces of rhubarb (about 5 1/2 cups; 620g) with sugar, tapioca flour, elderflower liqueur, and salt. Toss with a flexible spatula, and transfer to a 7 by 11-inch baking dish, sprinkling any remaining sugar/starch on top. Cover with foil, place on a foil or parchment lined half sheet pan, and bake until the rhubarb is wilted and juicy, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, transfer strawberries and the remaining 10 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups; 285g) rhubarb to the same bowl.
To Finish: Remove baking dish from the oven, discard foil, and sprinkle with baking soda. Stir carefully with a heat resistant spatula until the juices begin to fizz. Pour over the remaining fruit and fold to combine, then return to the baking dish. Top with handfuls of the prepared streusel, flattening each addition into a thin sheet to achieve even coverage. Continue baking until the crisp is bubbling in the very center, about 35 minutes more. The time will vary dramatically depending on the exact dimensions and material of your baking dish.
Cool at least 30 minutes before serving, as the filling will be dangerously hot and extremely runny at first. The crisp will thicken as it cools to room temperature. If you like, serve a la mode or with dollops of Lemon or Orange Chantilly. Wrapped in foil, the crisp will keep three days at room temperature.