So, usually what happens to me by the beginning of spring is that I realize I’ve been so carefully hoarding the produce I saved from the spring or summer before, there is a bag or two of it still in the freezer, ready to be eaten JUST before the real fresh batch comes out growing out of the earth. Case in point: rhubarb. I buy rhubarb like mad in the spring, and then am so worried about running out before the next spring, I inevitably have some left a full year later. Making a rhubarb crisp with celebratory rhubarb seemed like the right idea. A kind of farewell to last year’s rhubarb and a ceremonial making way for this year’s rhubarb. After all, I only have so much freezer space.
I threw cranberries in because I also happened to have some in the freezer, but if we want to be all symbolic about that too, I would say it is winter and spring meeting for one last time before winter fades from view. I like food symbolism, as this post about muffins and the seasons might attest. Winter isn’t going out without a fight here in ol’ Ontario but perhaps once it senses this crisp it will realize it is time to depart. Seinfeld knew after 9 seasons, MASH knew after 11 seasons. Winter should know now. Time to say farewell.
I was very pleased with how this recipe turned out. An excellent crisp to fruit ratio, naturally sweetened (not low in sugar, specifically, although likely lower than many other crisps), just the right amount of tart fruit, chock-a-block with oats, and packed with fabulous nutty-ness – the pecans really add an amazing richness and flavour. And don’t skip the dates – they bake into the mix and add a delicious caramelly sweetness.
Try adding this recipe into your crisp/crumble repertoire. You won’t be disappointed.
Rhubarb and Cranberry Crisp with Pecan Oat Crumble
Author: Emily Joldersma, R.H.N.
Recipe Notes: vegan, wheat-free, gluten-free (use certified oats and certified oat flour), naturally-sweetened
For the Crumble:
- 1/3 coconut palm sugar
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 oat flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 4-5 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
- 2 cups frozen cranberries
- 1/4 cup soft dates, chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
- 3 tbsps cornstarch
- Mix together coconut palm sugar, oat flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, salt, pecans, and rolled oats.
- Melt coconut oil and pour over oat mixture, mixing until all dry ingredients are coated with some oil. Refrigerate until ready for use.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Lightly grease a 9×13 glass baking pan with coconut oil.
- For the fruit mixture, combine cornstarch and coconut palm sugar.
- Toss rhubarb, cranberries, and chopped dates with the cornstarch/sugar mix until all are well coated.
- Put fruit mix into pan and top with crumble mix.
- Bake in the oven at 350F for about 1 hour. Check at 20 minutes and 40 minutes. Crisp is done when juices at edge of pan are bubbling, but most importantly, when juices in the middle of the crisp are bubbling too. If topping starts to get too brown, cover with tin foil.
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