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hurry up already

April 30 2009 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Dessert,Recipe » 23 comments


Look, I’m not proud that I stuffed this crisp full of strawberries and rhubarb that I plucked from the supermarket bins. The strawberries, most larger than golf balls, were caged in a plastic box, rather than nestled in those cute little wooden boxes you might see at the farmers’ market. And the rhubarb stalks were stripped of their leaves and stuffed in the corner, looking so much more lifeless than the crimson beauties that shoot up in a corner of my grandfather’s garden. Still, I couldn’t help myself. At least I’m not the only one. (We Chicagoans, I think, have a hard road to hoe. We deserve some slack.)


And, really, can you blame me? I’m told that it’s spring and, even though the evidence of said spring is scanty (a windblown tulip here, a set of allergy-induced red-rimmed eyes there) I’m ready for it. Maybe in some small way, I hoped that this crisp would help nudge this elusive season along.



Every season, I think, has its crisp.  Apples in the fall, pears in the winter, berries in the summer. And this combination—sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb—is spring’s version. The constant, of course, is the buttery, sugary, oat-filled, cinnamon-speckled topping. Piping hot and barely containing the stewed fruit beneath it, this topping is one of my favorite things in the whole world.


It’s good enough to make one forgive the sub-par fruit that it blankets. It’s even good enough to make you forget that it has been Rainy and Gray for Six (!) Straight (!) Days. So it’s got to be good enough to entice spring—real spring, with it’s first readily available local produce—to hurry up already.


Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

Printable Recipe

2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and diced (plus more for greasing)
4 stalks rhubarb, trimmed and cut in 1/2-inch slices
3 cups strawberries, trimmed and quartered
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier (or lemon or orange juice)
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest

Preheat the oven to 375°.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of kosher salt.  Cut in the 6 tablespoons chilled, diced butter using a pastry blender (or, if you don’t have one, rub the butter in with your fingers).  Place the mixture in the refrigerator.

Generously butter either four gratin dishes or one 9×9-inch pan.  Set aside.

In another medium bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, Grand Marnier, zest, remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of kosher salt.  Spoon the mixture into the buttered dish or dishes.   Blanket the strawberry-rhubarb mixture with the chilled topping.  Bake for 30 minutes.

23 comments so far. »
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  1. Tim says on April 30 2009 at 7:02 pm:

    Oh, these look so good! And who can blame us for being optimistic? Soon enough, soon enough.

  2. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on April 30 2009 at 7:10 pm:

    Tim: Optimistic! Yes, that’s the word. And it’s a good thing the sun peeked out after work today (if even for a few minutes). I was about to lose it …

  3. Jodye says on April 30 2009 at 7:27 pm:

    These look so perfect for spring! I just cannot get enough rhubarb and strawberries this time of year

  4. sarah says on April 30 2009 at 8:15 pm:

    OOO! yum! I just made my first strawberry rhubarb dessert last night (pie)…this sounds (and looks!) absolutely delicious, can’t wait to try!

  5. Whitney Merritt says on April 30 2009 at 9:01 pm:

    This rain has been INSANE. Its almost good because I am stuck inside outlining (for the last time?1?!) but I am rather sick of it.

    AND I am ready for some pretty produce. I have been so jealous of everyone with their ramps and asparagus and strawberries and rhubarb and everything SPRING.

  6. jen says on April 30 2009 at 9:50 pm:

    you certainly aren’t the only one!


    love your writing. i plan on something rhubarby this weekend.

  7. Half Assed Kitchen says on April 30 2009 at 10:10 pm:

    Oh, how I wish I liked rhubarb.

  8. Jeanne says on May 01 2009 at 12:13 am:

    Oh dear – I think I agree – weather-wise you guys have a hard row to hoe. I would move to Chicago in an instant but for the weather! (not that London shines in this department either…!)

    Your crisp looks outstanding, and I love that you made it in cups.

  9. Jennifer says on May 01 2009 at 2:58 am:

    I love rhubarb!!! Im from north eastern Canada, born and raised and can related to the seasons!!
    Great recipe :) pass the vanilla ice cream!

  10. tara says on May 01 2009 at 4:27 am:

    Oh! I have been thinking about rhubarb as well. I have a half batch of crostata dough in the freezer, so I am thinking I might use your filling and topping with that. Sounds delicious.

  11. Amy says on May 01 2009 at 5:46 am:

    Ooh, I’d love some of this for breakfast! :) I am so with you on being ready for spring and over the Rainy and Gray days (of which we are having another here today.) I’ve been tempted by the strawberries and rhubarb in the store too…if this weather lasts much longer I might be succumbing!

    Crisps are one of my favorite year-round desserts…this looks like a real treat! Have a great weekend, Kristin.

  12. Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats says on May 01 2009 at 8:15 am:

    I JUST saw the most beautiful stalks of rhubarb at the store yesterday and a strawberry rhubarb crisp is the exact recipe that came to mind!! Maybe I’ll give this one a whirl :)

  13. siri says on May 01 2009 at 8:16 am:

    Despite coming from (gasp!) a grocery store, your ingredients are gorgeous (maybe just a good photographing job???) and I love the fact that you used those little individual ramekins. I adore strawberry and rhubarb together and think that people don’t make crisps nearly often enough (I think most make them once a year after a trip to the apple orchard).

    Nice shots!


  14. Phoo-D says on May 01 2009 at 8:49 am:

    I’m right there with you on being very optimistic that Spring should be here already! We still have a lot of frozen rhubarb to use up before summer, so this dish is perfect!

  15. Danita says on May 01 2009 at 12:45 pm:

    I’ve been looking for a recipe other then a pie to make my first rhubarb dessert. I found it! plus it’s simple. These look amazing!

  16. Natanya says on May 01 2009 at 1:14 pm:

    You know, I think we are all faced with less-than-optimal fruit more often than we really want to be, so having a collection of recipes for said fruit isn’t a bad thing at all. This looks fantastic. I may be hunting strawberries and rutabaga this weekend for a little pre-season treat.

  17. Kate says on May 01 2009 at 3:59 pm:

    I haven’t seen a stalk of rhubarb anywhere around here and it’s making me CRY. I adore rhubarb. I had to resort to cleaning out the frozen rhubarb at my Whole Foods.

  18. Bingo says on May 01 2009 at 6:54 pm:

    I’m from upstate NY where the sun rarely shines. For the last 21 years I’ve lived in Colorado where we get 300+ days of sunshine a year. I’m in heaven! Unfortunately the climate is also desert like and the rhubarb is not as good as it was in NY. Even though I’ve found a source of home-grown rhubarb from time to time and make my favorite strawberry-rhubarb jam whenever I do. And I’ve taken to making this strawberry-rhubarb pie for special occasions.
    Hope to try the crisp soon. Thanks!

  19. holler says on May 02 2009 at 1:48 pm:

    I love recipe. I really like the combination of rhubarb with strawberries. A combination made in heaven. I accquired some rhubarb this week as well!

  20. Melissa says on May 02 2009 at 10:21 pm:

    It might not be quiiite there, but you’re right. I bet that topping made it delicious nonetheless.

    I also made and posted about that warm strawberry crumb cake. Only my second foray into real baking. And while the strawberries were just shy of that perfect goodness, it was still wonderful. But seriously, hurry up!

  21. becky says on June 24 2009 at 6:33 pm:

    hi kristin – I’m a new fan of your blog! I love the pics and stories. Please keep them coming!

    Your photos really made me crave strawberry-rhubarb crisp, so I just made this recipe tonight. I’ll let you know how it turns out. :)

  22. becky says on June 24 2009 at 7:24 pm:

    update: THIS WAS AMAZING!!!

  23. Rena says on April 22 2010 at 9:23 am:

    Would this work just as well to make mini pies?

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