Monday, June 1, 2009

At Last: Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble!

The recipe has been perfected. The pounds have been gained. The sweet tooth has been satisfied. NOW I can finally share the recipe I've been teasing you about for Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble.

This spring I became obsessed with Starbucks Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble (let's just call it SRC from here on out, shall we?). The buttery cake, the sweet and ever so slightly tangy strawberry-rhubarb layer, the not too crumbly topping. Ah. Everyday I was buying one. I'm usually a chocolate kind of girl, but this? Delicious.

I started searching online for recipes. Surely someone had knocked it off and come up with a recipe! Nope. Nuthin'. Just a bunch of whiners complaining about Starbucks being the evil empire and all. Waa, waa. I don't really care; I just wanted to know how to make the darn cake.

So I found a recipe on and made it. As is. How something with 3 cups of flour can be considered low carb, I'll never know.

Any woo, the recipe was good, but not quite right. I tinkered a bit with the strawberry-rhubarb filling and with the crumb topping (the recipe as provided was incomplete). In the end, I stuck with the basic cake part of the recipe and changed some quantities and techniques on the rest of it. So, here you go:

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble, ala CVB

1 1/2 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced into 1/2" pieces
2 cups Strawberries, sliced and mashed
1 T. Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Sugar
3 T. Cornstarch

3 cups Flour (all purpose please)
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 cup Butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla

3 T. Butter, melted
1/2 cup Flour
1/3 cup Sugar

Preheat your oven to 350-degrees.

In a medium saucepan, combine rhubarb, strawberries, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until nice and soft. Combine sugar and cornstarch; stir into saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened (this should only take a minute or two). Remove from heat and set aside to cool a bit.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in cold butter until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add in buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla and beat until well combined, but don't overmix.

Place slightly cooled strawberry mixture into a food processor and process until smooth (you can leave it chunky if you like, but this more closely resembles the Starbucks bar and in my opinion is yummier and more pleasing in a textural kind of way).

Spread 2/3 of the cake batter (and this is REALLY important; you need to save 1/3 for the topping) into a greased 9x13 cake pan (I really like the disposable aluminum foil ones that I use down at The Kitchen Studio because they have high sides and I've got a million of them). The batter will fight you a little bit and not want to spread, but you will persevere! Carefully spread the strawberry filling on top. Drop remaining 1/3 of cake batter in splootches (about 1 T. ea.) on top of filling. Bake for 25 minutes.

While cake is baking, prepare crumb topping. Melt butter in a saucepan or in the microwave. Stir in flour and sugar until mealy. After cake has baked for 25 minutes, remove from oven (be sure to shut the door so that all of the heat doesn't escape) and sprinkle the crumb topping all over the cake. Return to oven and bake an additional 30-35 minutes, or until the center of the cake is set and a crumb tester comes out clean.

Remove cake to a rack and allow to cool in the pan. It's delicious warm, so if you can't control yourself, I understand. Just be sure that you don't get burned by crazy hot filling. Makes 20 normal-sized servings.

Want to see what it looks like in profile? I thought you might:

I'd like the cake to be a little more buttery with fewer "holes", but this has received rave reviews so far. And, in the interest of full disclosure, I'm not a huge crumb topping person, so I cut it back a bit from the original to suit my taste.

Make it. Love it. Let me know what you think.


Yeon said...

The recipe has finally arrived!! Just in time for the strawberry season. I can't wait to make it! May I throw in some lemon zest to the cake batter?

Chef Christine said...

Oui, oui! That sounds yummy! Let me know how it turns out, and y'know, feel free to bring a piece by if you want to show off a little :)

Lizzie said...

I just finished mine up! I used whole milk- no buttermilk on hand- and increased the topping by 1/3 (we are huge crumb topping fans here). I also used frozen unsweetened fruit with good results.

Its good warm- can't wait to have a piece for breakfast with a cuppa decaf tomorrow morning, and thank you so much for sharing this delightful recipe! :-)

Chef Christine said...

You DO know the buttermilk trick, don't you?? My mom taught me to put 1-2T. of lemon juice (white vinegar would work too) into 1c. of regular old milk, then stir. Viola - instant buttermilk!

Glad you enjoyed the recipe. I'll be by in the morning for a piece with my coffee ;)

Lizzie said...

I did add lemon juice, but, I was afraid it wouldn't be acidic enough to cut the alkaline of the baking soda, so I used two teaspoons baking powder (heaping) and omited the soda- I should of mentioned that before.

My husband took a few pieces to work and they were greedily gobbled up, and I have had a slice with coffee this morning. Yummy! Its a very good recipe and I appreciate the work that went into it. :-)

T said...

i have been meaning to make these for YEARS (okay, since starbucks discontinued the crumble) and FINALLY got around to it.

one issue i ran into ... at the 25 minute mark of baking, when it was time to put on the crumb topping, the rest of the crumble was essentially ... already baked. starting to brown, cake tester coming out almost entirely clean, everything.

i live in colorado at 5900 feet where things usually take SLOWER to cook, so i'm not sure what happened. it's currently cooling, so will be able to taste-test soon.

Chef Christine said...

Well T., I haven't had that problem here (close to sea level). Is your oven temp good? If it is, I say just cut back that cooking time back a few minutes and you'll be golden. Glad you gave it a try!

T said...

Hey, tried them again ... in a different oven, since I've moved, but they turned out a lot better! They've at least passed the hubby taste test, so that's a good thing. ;)