Strawberry rhubarb crumble is a harbinger of summer. The enticing aromas of cardamom, orange, and cinnamon make the jammy filling outstanding while the gingery, brown sugary crumble is irresistible. The balsamic drizzle takes it over the top.

A square baking dish filled with strawberry rhubarb crumble with balsamic drizzle, with a portion on a plate and a few strawberries on the side.

Rhubarb season is so short that in June I show up early in the morning at our local market to speak to Richie Pimento, the produce manager. (Quite an apt name, don’t you think?) Before the rhubarb goes out to the coolers, he lets me rummage through the boxes for the best stalks. I like long, sturdy stalks with a deep ruby color, if I can find them.

Once home, I put the rhubarb to good use in all sorts of dishes: pies, crisps, and this crumble. What I like about this dessert–or breakfast, ahem!–is the addition of ginger and cardamon. Plus the crumble calls for brown sugar, just a little extra bass note of molasses, which is lovely.

What really kicks this into high gear is the balsamic drizzle. I suggest serving it in a small creamer so people can add it to their portion ’til their heart’s content. If it thickens, stir in a teaspoon or two of hot water.–David Leite

CAN I USE MORE TOPPING?

So many people (including our testers) love the crumble topping, I’ve been asked if it can be increased. Indeed it can. I’ve made 1 1/2 batches without a problem. Mind you, the pan will be mighty full and the crumble will need to cook a bit longer.

A square baking dish filled with strawberry rhubarb crumble with balsamic drizzle, with a portion on a plate and a few strawberries on the side.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble With Balsamic Drizzle

A square baking dish filled with strawberry rhubarb crumble with balsamic drizzle, with a portion on a plate and a few strawberries on the side.

If anything screams summer, it’s the combination of strawberry and rhubarb. Tart, sweet, and gently spiced with ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon, it’s just as scrumptious for breakfast as it is for dessert.

David Leite

Prep 30 mins

Cook 40 mins

Total 1 hr 10 mins

For the strawberry-rhubarb filling

For the balsamic drizzle (optional)

Make the strawberry-rhubarb filling

  • In a large bowl, rub the orange zest into the sugar with your fingertips until the sugar turns a marvelous light orange and is fragrant.

  • Stir the rest of the filling ingredients into the orange sugar and spoon it into the baking dish. Smooth the top.

Make the crumble topping

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, ginger, and salt. Work the butter in with your fingertips until the mixture is crumbly.
  • Evenly sprinkle the topping over the filling, making sure you have no holidays–those pesky holes where you can see filling.

  • Bake the crumble until the topping is golden brown and the juices bubble around the edges, 40 to 50 minutes.

  • Let the crumble cool almost completely before serving.

Make the balsamic drizzle (optional)

  • Just before serving, in a small bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, balsamic vinegar, and salt until smooth. If the drizzle needs to be thinner, add a bit of water as more vinegar with throw off the sweet-tart balance.
  • Serve the strawberry rhubarb crumble and pass the balsamic drizzle, letting everyone add as much as they like. Acknowledge the applause.

*What kind of balsamic vinegar should I use? 

There are 3 categories of balsamic vinegar—traditional, condiment, and imitation. The one you want here is condiment or “condimento balsamico”, identifiable by the I.G.P. (indicazione geografica protetta-protected geographical indentification) designation on the label. Condiment balsamic is the most widely used version of balsamic—it’s still balsamic but not the strictly produced or expensive top-shelf stuff. It’s the most versatile and you can get a decent bottle for a decent price. Darker condiment balsamic vinegars are sweeter and better for drizzling, just like in this recipe.

Serving: 1portionCalories: 511kcal (26%)Carbohydrates: 92g (31%)Protein: 4g (8%)Fat: 16g (25%)Saturated Fat: 10g (63%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 40mg (13%)Sodium: 34mg (1%)Potassium: 459mg (13%)Fiber: 4g (17%)Sugar: 66g (73%)Vitamin A: 579IU (12%)Vitamin C: 53mg (64%)Calcium: 123mg (12%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Originally published June 20, 2021

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