Strawberries have always been my favourite fruit. I think this may have something to do with my early childhood obsession with Strawberry Shortcake. For my fifth birthday, I received a Strawberry Shortcake doll as a gift. She had strawberry blonde hair and a plastic face that smelled like strawberries. I spent hours combing that doll’s hair and smelling her face. It was a little creepy. My first cookbook was “Strawberry Shortcake’s Cooking Fun” by Michael J. Smollin. It included recipes for things such as Whizzer Fizzers, Apple Snackwiches, and Custard and Pupcake Cookies. I never actually made any of these recipes, cause in the 1980s Italian-Canadian kids didn’t really eat apples and cheddar on crackers or peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I now love all these things. I also love crumbles. They’re easy to make and you can use any combo of in-season fruit. Here, I’ve used strawberries and rhubarb. This crumble can be served warm or at room temperature. I’m sure one of Strawberry Shortcake’s Whizzer Fizzers would also pair nicely with this dessert.
For the base:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup cold salted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
For the crumble topping:
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds (chopped pecans or walnuts are great too!)
For the filling:
- 8 cups sliced strawberries
- 4 stalks rhubarb, sliced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 cup flour
- Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
- First, make the crust base: in a large bowl whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter or your fingers. Stir in the lightly-beaten egg. The mixture will be dry and crumbly. It’s ok if small pea-sized lumps of butter remain.
- Press half the dough into the prepared baking pan and refrigerate.
- Next, prepare the crumble topping: add 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and almonds to the remaining half of the base mixture. Place crumble mixture in the fridge while you make the filling.
- In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, rhubarb and lemon juice. Mix in the flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla. Stir until all the fruit is coated.
- Spread the strawberry mixture evenly over the chilled crust. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the fruit.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
- Cool completely before slicing.