Friday, June 20, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crisp - vegan & gluten free

Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crisp - vegan and gluten free

Happy (almost) Summer! Tomorrow, June 21, marks the official start of summer. Around here it's still cool enough to drink hot tea in the morning, but the afternoons have been glorious. I've been busy with strawberries lately, and I think my berry obsession will go on for the next several months (you're welcome). Last year my strawberry forays were pretty tame, but this year I'm hoping to share more creative ideas. I'll be the first to admit that a crisp isn't a terribly good example of said creativity, but crisps top the list of my favorite summer desserts, so I think I'll give myself a pass.

Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crisp

(One of) the great things about crisps is their endless adaptability. Want to use different fruit? Go ahead, it's no problem! Want something warm for dessert? These are perfect! Want a cold breakfast? Crisps to the rescue! I really can't say enough good things about them.

Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crisp - vegan, gluten free

Up until this point, I've always made crisps comprised of a layer of fruit and a layer of topping/crumbley crisp/crust/whathaveyou. This was my first double crisp experiment, and I was pleasantly surprised. Two crusts make them more bar-like, and thus more structured, which, besides photographing better, leads to easier serving to guests. It also makes the crisp a bit heartier, and (I think) even better for breakfast.

vegan, gf Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crisp

Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crisp - vegan & gluten free
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

I doubled the amount of fruit Deb used in her version, so if you have less, know that will work. I tested this recipe with olive oil and melted coconut oil AND with white whole wheat flour, almond flour, and brown rice flour. I preferred the coconut oil (crispier than olive oil) and the almond flour (yum). I see no reason that whole wheat flour or your favorite gluten free flour will not work in place of the listed all-purpose. To make this corn free, be sure to omit the cornstarch (duh), but also don't sprinkle any confectioners' sugar on top. 

Yield: 16 small bars or 9 larger ones (pictured); recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9×13-inch baking pan, where they will come out a little thicker

1 C (80 grams) rolled oats
3/4 C (95 grams) plus up to 2 Tbsp (15 grams) extra all-purpose or gluten free flour (see note)
1/2 C (95 grams) Sucanat or brown sugar
Heaped 1/4 tsp table salt
5 Tbsp vegetable oil or coconut oil, melted (see note)
1 tsp cornstarch (optional, but helps firm up the filling)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
1 Tbsp (15 grams) granulated sugar
2 C (250 grams) small-diced rhubarb (from about 3 medium stalks)
2 C (310 grams) small-diced strawberries
Powdered sugar, for decoration, if desired

Preheat oven to 375F. For easy removal, line bottom and two sides of 8-by-8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. No need to bother (and no greasing needed) if you plan to serve them right in the pan, as I did.

Place oats, flour, Sucanat, and salt in a large bowl and mix. Pour oil over the mix and stir until clumps form. If the clumps feel soft or look overly damp, add the remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Pour in and press a generous half of the crumb mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan.

Toss fruit with lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch if using; then spread evenly over the crust. Scatter reserved crumbs over fruit and bake bars for 30 to 40 minutes (firmer fruits will take longer), until fruit is bubbly and crisp portion is golden and smells toasty and amazing.

Let cool in pan and cut into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Store leftovers covered in fridge.

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