I was invited to a pre-Memorial Day shindig at Jerry and Debra Abrams’ home, where we were to practice making pizzas in their new outdoor pizza oven. Being the good guest that I am, I asked what I could bring.
I was told to bring the fixings to make a dessert in cast iron.
Desserts are always a challenge for me; I don’t have a sweet tooth. When I go to a family holiday dinner, and I ask what I can bring, I always clarify that I can bring anything but dessert. It’s no fun to cook something you’re not particularly interested in eating. In this instance, not only did I have to bring a dessert, the hostess – Debra – eats gluten-free.
Off to the computer I went, where I did a mad google search. I was looking for something gluten-free, with rhubarb – I knew that it is in season and would be at my local farmer’s market. The strawberries are also particularly tasty right about now. Ultimately I settled on the Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble that I found at mybakingaddiction.com. I knew that it would work great for cast iron cooking, and Debra had a nice selection of vintage pans from which to choose. I made it in her number 6 Griswold Small Logo cast iron skillet. It worked great!
The dessert was almost embarrassingly easy to make, and the crumble was delicious. How could it not be – what’s not to like about strawberries, rhubarb, and cast iron? I made very few revisions to the original recipe. The recipe as I made it is printed below.
Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
The recipe says it serves 8 – I think it depends on the size of the serving. I know that more than 8 people got a nice-sized taste of the crumble!
For the filling
- 2 c. cleaned rhubarb cut into ~3/4″ chunks
- 2 c. cleaned strawberries; hulled and cut into ~3/4″ chunks
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- 3/4 t. lemon extract
- 1/2 t. vanilla extract
- 1 T. cornstarch
- pinch of salt
For the topping
- 3/4 c. + 1 T. gluten-free oat flour (you can use regular oats and grind them up in your food processor or coffee grinder to make oat flour)
- 1-1/4 c. gluten-free rolled oats
- 2/3 c. golden brown sugar
- 2/3 c. melted butter that has slightly cooled
- 1/4 t. salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Spray a number 6 cast iron skillet (~8″ in diameter) liberally with Pam or other oil of your choice. A number 7 pan would also work well.
- In a medium bowl stir together the sugar, almond extract, vanilla extract, cornstarch and salt.
- Add the strawberries and rhubarb and stir to coat in the mixture. Let macerate for at least 10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the oat flour, oats, brown sugar, melted butter and salt until well combined.
- Gently spoon the fruit mixture into the bottom of your cast iron skillet. Top with spoonfuls of the oat mixture. The oat mixture will cover the entirety of the fruit mixture.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until the topping is firm and golden brown, and the mixture is bubbling. Remove from oven and let rest and cool in the cast iron pan for 20-30 minutes.
Serve directly from the skillet!