Rhubarb-Cherry Crumble

A perfect early summer combination.

Crumbles are my favorite summer dessert because they are so easy to make. You don’t need any special tools or equipment, and they can be baked in advance and reheated later.
 
Crumbles are also a very versatile dessert: you can use pretty much any fruit that is in season, and they will always come out right.
 
This one is made with fresh local rhubarb form the Moscow Food Co-op and dark cherries from Tonnemaker Hill Farm. Cherries are currently in season, so you can buy them from multiple vendors at the Moscow Farmers Market, Pullman Farmers Market and other regional farmers markets.
 
This crumble is vegan and can easily be made gluten-free. I love to serve it warm topped with homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. It is also great at room temperature, so feel free to bring it to a picnic or barbecue.  
 
This recipe makes one crumble big enough to feed 4-6 people.

Ingredients
 
For the filling:
 
1 cup of fresh rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 cups of fresh dark cherries, pitted and chopped in half
3 tablespoons of good-quality maple syrup
2 teaspoons of tapioca starch (available at the Moscow Food Co-op)
½ teaspoon orange zest
 
For the crumble topping:
 
¾ cup of old-fashioned oats (look for gluten-free oats to make it gluten free)
½ cup of almond flour (available at the Moscow Food Co-op)
A pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
3 tablespoons of refined coconut oil, melted
3 teaspoons of coconut palm sugar or turbinado sugar (available at the Moscow Food Co-op)
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
Additional coconut oil for greasing cast iron skillet or baking dish

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 375℉.
2.  Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet or an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with a little bit of coconut oil. Set aside.
3.  Place all of the ingredients for the filling in a medium bowl. Combine until well incorporated. Set aside.
4.  Add all the ingredients for the crumble except for the coconut oil to a small bowl. Mix well with a fork or spoon. Add the coconut oil and combine. The mixture should come together but still look fairly dry.
5.  Transfer the rhubarb-cherry filling to the cast iron skillet or baking dish and top with the crumble.
6.  Bake for 30-40 min. Baking time may vary slightly so start checking them at the 20 min mark. The filling should bubble over slightly and the top should turn a medium shade of brown.
7.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: You can bake the crumble up to three days in advance and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to serve it. Pop it a 375℉ oven to reheat it if necessary.

Local Foods, Local Flavors guest blogger, Daniela Miranda, is the food photographer and recipe developer behind The Boozy Oyster blog, a food and cocktails blog that aims to inspire home cooks to try out new recipes. When she’s not cooking, she and her husband like to foster dogs and go hiking on Kamiak Butte.