My grandmother lived in a small house on the first farm just outside of “downtown” Hooper, Nebraska. By downtown, I mean there was a two-block length main street with a smattering of mom-and-pop stores, a small grocer, and two restaurants. Back at my grandmother’s, a small patch of wild rhubarb grew just outside the back porch. I had trouble with my “R’s” back then, and I’m pretty sure I called it “whubarb.” But what I didn’t have trouble with was eating grandma’s Rhubarb Crisp. Some days, she was a purist and only included rhubarb. Other times, the treat was sweetened with the addition of bright, red summer strawberries. That tart-sugary-crunchy confection will always remind me of my grandmother (and my mother, if I’m being honest – she made a mean Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp herself).
This recipe is an ode to my grandmother’s and my mother’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisps that I remember so fondly. I’ve cut some of the sugar, and added a little tropical interest with the addition of ginger snaps and coconut.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Ginger Snap & Coconut Crisp
For the filling:
- 4 stalks rhubarb, sliced
- 1 quart strawberries (2-3 cups), cleaned, trimmed and sliced
- 1 tbs arrowroot powder
- ¼ c light brown sugar, packed
- Pinch of salt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ½ tsp vanilla
For the crisp:
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut chips
- ½ cup crushed ginger snaps (I use Moravian Ginger snaps from NC’s own Salem Baking Co.)
- ½ cup quick cooking oats
- ¼ light brown sugar
- 1 tbs sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 6 tbs butter, softened
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch rectangular/oval or 8-inch square baking dish.
Mix together sliced rhubarb and strawberries in a large bowl. Stir in arrowroot powder and next five ingredients. Set fruit mixture aside while making topping.
In a separate, medium-sized bowl, mix together coconut chips through salt. Add in butter and use a fork to make sure butter is fully cut into mixture. Personally, I find this a great time to dig in with my hands and crumble the topping together with my fingers until the butter is incorporated.
Pour strawberry-rhubarb filling into baking dish. Scatter crisp topping over fruit to fully cover filling.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, or until fruit is bubbling and topping is just browned.
Set on a wire rack to cool. Serve slightly warm (my preference, room temp works too), with a scoop of your favorite vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream. This dessert will keep for 2 days unrefrigerated, or 3 days if kept refrigerated (but the topping won’t stay crispy in the fridge). But let’s face it, this crisp is so delightful it will be gone in a day.