Juicy Fruit: Rhubarb Almond Crisp
Rhubarb Almond Crisp
Rhubarb is a low-maintenance, hardy perennial—composed of rose-red, celery-like stalks (edible) and large, bright green, heart-shaped leaves (poisonous)—that continues producing for at least 10 years. My grandma, who lives in the Czech countryside, has always had rhubarb planted in her garden. In the spring, when it’s in season, she uses it as a filling for koláče and various cakes. Growing up, I didn’t care much for its taste; the chunky, meaty texture and tart flavor didn’t do much for me. But as I got older, I started appreciating it more, and now I can’t get enough—especially because the season is so short.
In this simple, quick and delicious crisp recipe, the rhubarb first gets turned into a compote and then baked, sprinkled with dense, crunchy almond-flour-sugar-cinnamon streusel. It’s great as it is, but I think you should park a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on top to make it really sing.
If you’re getting rhubarb at the supermarket, look for firm, 15–20-inch-long stalks, usually stocked in the fruit section.
- Serves 6
- 4 cups rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¾ cup sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Vanilla ice cream (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the rhubarb in a medium saucepan, add the sugar and lemon zest, and mix. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat, until the rhubarb releases some of its juices and the sugar starts to caramelize, about 5 minutes.
- Prepare the topping while the rhubarb is cooking. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S-blade, combine the flour, sugar, almonds, cinnamon and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter, and pulse again until the mixture becomes crumbly and the butter pea-size. (Alternatively, place the ingredients in a medium bowl and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour mixture until crumbly and pea-size).
- Transfer the rhubarb, including the juices, into a 10-inch gratin dish. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the rhubarb. Bake in the oven until the topping is golden brown and the crisp bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10–15 minutes, and then serve.