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Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble with Balsamic Drizzle

A square baking dish filled with strawberry rhubarb crumble with balsamic drizzle, with a portion on a plate and a few strawberries on the side.
If anything screams summer, it's the combination of strawberry and rhubarb. Tart, sweet, and gently spiced with ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon, it's just as scrumptious for breakfast as it is for dessert.
David Leite

Prep 30 mins
Cook 40 mins
Total 1 hr 10 mins
Dessert
American
6 servings
511 kcal

Ingredients 

  • Unsalted butter softened to room temperature, for the pan

For the strawberry-rhubarb filling

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest preferably organic
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 pounds fresh rhubarb trimmed and sliced into 1-inch (25-mm) pieces
  • 1 pound strawberries hulled and cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Large pinch of kosher salt

For the crumble topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Large pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter slightly softened, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes

For the balsamic drizzle (optional)

  • 1/2 cup confectioners' or powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar*
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Directions 

Preheat the oven

  • Position a rack in the middle of the oven and crank the heat to 425°F (218°C).
  • Generously butter an 8-by 8-inch (20-by 20-cm) square ovenproof baking dish.

Make the strawberry-rhubarb filling

  • In a large bowl, rub the orange zest into the sugar with your fingertips until the sugar turns a marvelous light orange and is fragrant.
  • Stir the rest of the filling ingredients into the orange sugar and spoon it into the baking dish. Smooth the top.

Make the crumble topping

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, ginger, and salt. Work the butter in with your fingertips until the mixture is crumbly.
  • Evenly sprinkle the topping over the filling, making sure you have no holidays--those pesky holes where you can see filling.
  • Bake the crumble until the topping is golden brown and the juices bubble around the edges, 40 to 50 minutes.
  • Let the crumble cool almost completely before serving.

Make the balsamic drizzle (optional)

  • Just before serving, in a small bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, balsamic vinegar, and salt until smooth. If the drizzle needs to be thinner, add a bit of water as more vinegar with throw off the sweet-tart balance.
  • Serve the strawberry rhubarb crumble and pass the balsamic drizzle, letting everyone add as much as they like. Acknowledge the applause.

Notes

*What kind of balsamic vinegar should I use? 

There are 3 categories of balsamic vinegar—traditional, condiment, and imitation. The one you want here is condiment or "condimento balsamico", identifiable by the I.G.P. (indicazione geografica protetta-protected geographical indentification) designation on the label. Condiment balsamic is the most widely used version of balsamic—it's still balsamic but not the strictly produced or expensive top-shelf stuff. It's the most versatile and you can get a decent bottle for a decent price. Darker condiment balsamic vinegars are sweeter and better for drizzling, just like in this recipe.