Saturday, May 25, 2013

Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

Until now I'd never actually cooked with rhubarb before, and the only time I've ever eaten it was on my very first visit to meet the Mister's grandparents in Indiana.  Grandma Jackson definitely won me over to the strange looking vegetable, er what the heck is this thing, a tree?  While we know rhubarb is tasty, we all wonder, what exactly is this thing that looks more like a means of self defense than something to be used in dessert?  Well let's just say the jury is still out, or more accurately the jury ruled and confused things further.  While rhubarb is indeed a vegetable, a U.S. Customs Court ruled in 1947 that it was a fruit and thus, here in the States, it's been considered a fruit ever since.  Either way, it is delicious and I was excited for its maiden voyage in my kitchen.  Inspired by the Barefoot Contessa recipe I shared the other evening, I decided to use what I had on hand to whip up a gluten-free and dairy-free version, plus reduce some of the sugar content.  The only downside was burning the roof off my mouth because I couldn't wait to dig in!

Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

2 cups fresh rhubarb, ends trimmed and diced
2 cups fresh strawberries, tops removed and quartered (or triple berry it with 1 cup strawberries, 1/2 cup blueberries and 1/2 cup blackberries)
¼ cup local honey
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup water
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla extract (Note: most imitation extract contain gluten, so check labels or make your own)
½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Shortbread Cookie Mix**
½ cup ground almond meal
¼ cup sugar
3 Tbsp Earth Balance Margarine (for dairy-free, or use any butter of your choosing)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine rhubarb, strawberries, honey and brown sugar.  Dissolve cornstarch in water and then add to fruit mixture.  Add vanilla extract, plus another dash for good measure.  Mix to fully combine all ingredients and then pour into baking dish.

For crumble topping, in a separate bowl, combine Bob's Red Mill Shortbread Cookie Mix, almond meal and sugar.  Then by hand, rub margarine into the mixture until it's crumbly.  Use more or less butter if needed.  Sprinkle over top of fruit and dot the top with small pieces of butter.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour.  Allow to cool for a few minutes (seriously, the roof of your mouth will thank you) and serve with vanilla bean ice cream, if desired.  We recommend So Delicious Vanilla Bean, made with coconut milk!

**Easily enjoy this gluten-full (ha!) with 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour and a pinch of salt!**

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