Quick! It’s 5 o’clock and your in-laws are on their way over for dinner. The dessert you planned isn’t going to work out (they were meringue based and the weather turned humid so you wound up with a pile of sticky chocolate Frisbees). What do you do??
I’ll tell you what I did. I made a strawberry rhubarb crumble with a fun twist from my herb garden. I can almost always throw together a crumble (or a crisp, call it what you like). I chop up whatever sounds good between the fresh and frozen fruit in our house, toss together some pantry staples, and voila! Fruit crumble is always a crowd pleaser and a little different every time. To jazz this crumble up, I went back to that lemon thyme plant and harvested a nice little bunch to mix into the crust.
If you thought last week’s strawberry oatmeal cookies were a little too fussy, what with roasting the berries and all, try this simpler approach to baking with herbs. Once again if you can’t get lemon thyme try another lemony herb. No herbs at all with lemon in their name? Use your nose to help you choose. Close your eyes and give each herb a little sniff, imagine the flavor on your tongue, do you think about sweet things? If you do then it is a good candidate for a baking experiment, just mince them up very small.
Fortunately my in-laws they were not guinea pigs for this combination of herbs and fruit. This combo of sweet-tart fruit with a buttery oat crumble, and subtle hint of savory herbs is solid. I knew strawberry rhubarb crumble with a hint of lemon thyme would be a good one for them, and for you!
- 5 cups (775g) quartered strawberries
- 3 cups (300 g) chopped rhubarb (1x1 inch pieces)
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ⅓ cup rolled oats
- ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced lemon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold & cut into cubes
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and ready a 2½ quart casserole or 13x9 baking dish.
- In a large bowl, mix the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, tapioca flour, and lemon juice and turn them out into the casserole in an even layer.
- In a medium bowl, use a fork to mix the crumble ingredients except the butter. Use a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the pieces are pea sized and the mixture is the texture of moist sand.
- Sprinkle the topping over the fruit so it is evenly covered.
- Bake the crumble for 45-55 minutes. The crumble is baked when the crust is golden and the fruit is bubbling.
- Allow the crumble to cool to room temperature before serving. The filling will gel as it cools.