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Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble with Almond Butter Topping

Tart rhubarb are paired with sweet strawberries to make this classic pie combo and uses almond butter to make a deliciously nutty oat crumble topping that adds a nice earthy flavour to this scrumptious pie. It's naturally gluten-free and vegan, top it with vegan ice cream or whipped cream and is the perfect spring and summertime dessert.


Did you know that June 9th is National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day in the US? Yeah, I had no idea either, but good thing I've got just the thing!

It may not be a true pie in the sense of the word, but in my world, a crumble comes pretty close. Either way, so long as I'm using the main ingredients of strawberries and rhubarb, and make it gluten-free and vegan, then I'll allow it!

What is rhubarb?

Did you know that rhubarb is actually a spring vegetable but classified as a fruit by the USDA?

It's one of the few vegetables that are truly seasonal, and are harvested in late spring to early summer. Their stems look similar to a celery stalk but are pink in colour, and bear broad leaves.

The only edible part are the stalks, and the leaves and roots can actually be quite poisonous due to oxalic acid, so avoid those!

The stalks have a subtle sweetness, but are very tart so they are usually cooked with lots of sugar to balance out the sourness, and are usually paired with strawberries since they have a bit of a similar flavour profile and compliment each other well.

Apart from pies, rhubarb can also be cooked into compotes, jams, and syrups and are used in many applications.

What makes this recipe different?

A number of reasons! For one, its naturally gluten-free and dairy free! It's use of oat flour (make sure its certified GF) replaces all-purpose flour, and it does not contain any dairy.

Second, using almond butter (the crunchy kind) to make the crumble instead of using butter gives this dessert an earthy and nutty flavour profile that is utterly delicious and gives it great depth of flavour that will be unlike all your other crumbles, plus making it naturally dairy free.

Third, it has great texture - juicy strawberries and rhubarb with a rich sauce, and a delightful crumble with large flake oats also add texture to the crumble.

Lastly, warm spices and use of maple sugar - in addition to brown sugar, it gives a deeper flavour that no other sugar can match, and cinnamon and vanilla enrich the flavours of the pie and crumble.

Key ingredients and substitutions:

Strawberries - in season in the summer months, are juicy, sweet, and flavourful, and are a perfect pairing for rhubarb. Best to use fresh when in season, but you can also use frozen! Try using a different berry as well like blueberries, raspberries, or a mixture, all go really well with rhubarb!

Rhubarb - a late spring and early summer crop, rhubarb are tart and go really well with strawberries and other summer berries. If you are not able to find them fresh, frozen rhubarb also work perfectly well in this recipe.

Almond butter - replaces butter in the crumble and add delicious flavour with its nutty profile. Try using pistachio, cashew or even natural peanut butter!

Orange zest and juice - apart from adding a wonderful floral and citrus note to the filling from the zest, the acid in the orange juice activates the natural pectin of the strawberries and rhubarb - this in turn, helps with making the juices in the filling help thicken up. You can also replace this with lemon juice and zest.

Oat flour - instead of using all-purpose flour which contains gluten, we've replaced it with oat flour which is naturally gluten free (though check the package and make sure yours is certified gluten-free), and also adds a slightly nuttier flavour profile. If oat flour is not available, substitute this with your favourite gluten free flour blend.

Large flake oats - adds texture to the crumble, You can also use quick oats if large flake is not available.

Maple sugar - a slightly healthier and more flavourful sugar substitute. Try using coconut sugar which is also delicious.

Brown sugar - has more molasses in it, therefore gives the pie a richer, caramelized flavour profile.

Cornstarch - helps thicken the juices to make a rich sauce, and is gluten-free. Alternatively, use arrowroot flour or potato starch.

Cinnamon - adds extra flavour and warmth to the filling and crumble. I've also used pumpkin spice or apple pie spice for a more complex blend of spices that also compliment the flavours of the pie ingredients.

Vanilla and salt - used to enhance flavour, so don't skip these!

How to make the Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

This crumble pie is very easy to put together and comes out delicious and bubbly after baking, follow the easy steps below and you'll have something to accompany your ice cream in no time!

1. Make the filling first by combining the strawberries, rhubarb, maple sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, orange zest, orange juice, vanilla extract, and salt. Transfer the mixture to a large pie dish or large cast-iron skillet.

2. Combine the crumble ingredients by mixing together the oat flour, large flake oats, almond butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt until it resembles coarse crumbs and also start to clump together. Sprinkle the crumble over the strawberry-rhubarb mixture.

3. Bake the pie in a pre-heated 350F oven for 40 to 50 minutes, until the filling is bubbling, and crumble topping is lightly golden. Cool for 15 minutes before serving, alternatively, cool completely so that the sauce can thicken as it cools. Serve with vegan ice cream or dairy-free whipped cream.

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I'm Adrienne, and I'm a food and prop stylist, recipe developer & tester, cake artist, and food & lifestyle writer and blogger.


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