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Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

June 9, 2022

I'm a self-taught baker, recipe developer, photographer and writer in Brooklyn, New York. 

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a 9x9 inch tin of vegan strawberry rhubarb crumble with a serving spoon dipping into it

For my first vegan recipe ever, I teamed up with Thrive Market, the online, membership-based grocery store, to make this strawberry rhubarb crumble. Their site and app make it easy to shop for specific diets such as vegan and gluten-free — plus, you can sort by values-based categories like cruelty-free, BIPOC-owned, and climate-friendly products. To kick off Pride month this year, Thrive invited me to make the new crumble recipe on IG Live, where we talked about what Pride means to us, and why food plays such an important role in queer gatherings. You can watch it here.

a tin of vegan strawberry rhubarb crumble with a white and red-striped towel next to it

And speaking of gatherings, this strawberry rhubarb crumble will be your go-to offering at all the events that are booking up your summer calendar. Active prep time is less than 45 minutes, and it’s so simple to make — and hard to mess up! Plus, you can make it ahead of time and refrigerate, or even freeze, before baking. I recommend serving this crumble slightly warm with your favorite plant-based ice cream.

A scoop of vegan strawberry rhubarb crumble on a small white dessert plate with the full tin and a serving spoon next to it

Here are some tips for making vegan strawberry rhubarb crumble

1. Fruit chunk size matters. This strawberry rhubarb crumble is in the oven for around 50 minutes, which gives the filling enough time to thicken and cooks the fruit so that it’s tender — but not mush. You want to make sure you’re not cutting the fruit too small: about half-inch pieces for rhubarb and halved strawberries work best. If the rhubarb is thinner, cut the slices thicker, and vice-versa. If your strawberries are really big, quarter them — and if they’re tiny, just hull them and leave them whole.

2. To know when it’s done baking, trust your eyes. For any baked fruit dessert, you’ll know it’s done from these visual cues. One, the topping will be deep golden brown. Two, the filling is is bubbling up through the sides and the gaps of topping (this is how you know the thickening agent in the corn starch has activated.) Lastly, if you’re not sure that the fruit is all the way cooked through, you can take a fork and just gently stab an exposed piece of fruit, especially the rhubarb which is tougher, and if it goes in with almost no resistance, it’s perfectly cooked.

3. Check on your crumble. Baking time for recipes like these is more of a guideline, since everyone’s oven is different and you could use a variety of baking dishes or tins for this crumble. That’s why you should check your crumble about 5 to 10 minutes or so before your timer goes off to look for the above cues. If the top is getting a little too much color, just tent it with tin foil.

4. If you don’t have a food processor … A stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer will also work to make the topping. You could also use a pastry cutter.

a close-up on the top of a vegan strawberry rhubarb crumble

Did you make this recipe? I want to see! Tag me on Instagram or TikTok @easygayoven.

A scoop of vegan strawberry rhubarb crumble on a small white dessert plate with the full tin and a serving spoon next to it

Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

Print Recipe
Course Dessert
Active Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Servings 8
Author Eric King

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 1 ½ pounds fresh strawberries hulled and cut in half (quarter any large ones)
  • 12 ounces fresh rhubarb cut into half-inch pieces
  • Zest from 1 medium orange
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Seeds from half a vanilla bean optional
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (165 grams)
  • Pinch of kosher salt

For the topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (130 grams)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (55 grams)
  • ¼ cup lightly packed brown sugar (50 grams)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup cold unsalted vegan butter, cut into half-inch pieces (113 grams)
  • 4 ounces pecans chopped into small pieces (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F and set one rack to the middle position.
  • Make the filling: To a large mixing bowl, add strawberries, rhubarb, orange juice and zest, vanilla bean seeds and extract, cornstarch, sugar, and salt.
  • With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, toss the ingredients together until the fruit is evenly coated and the sugar begins to dissolve. Set aside.
  • Make the topping: To a food processor, add flour, granulated and brown sugars, baking powder, and salt. Pulse the food processor just until the ingredients are combined and no lumps remain.
  • Add the vegan butter, spacing out the cubes over the dry ingredients as best you can.
  • Continue pulsing until the mixture starts to clump together and you see crumbles forming. Add the pecans and pulse just until they are evenly distributed.
  • Grease a 9-inch square tin or other 2/2.5-quart baking dish with baking spray or more vegan butter.
  • Give the fruit mixture a few final stirs to incorporate any juice that has accumulated at the bottom of the bowl. Dump the mixture into the baking dish.
  • Crumble the topping over the fruit. (Using your hand to clump the topping together, and then breaking it into smaller pieces works great for picture-perfect crumbles.)
  • Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the topping is deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling up through the crumbs.
  • Let the crumble cool on a wire rack for about at least 15 minutes before serving.

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