Grilled Rhubarb Crisp

a dessert game changer

With spring quickly warming to summer, my oven from the 50s decided it was time to throw in the towel. I didn’t think much of it with the temperature rising outside, but then rhubarb season hit and I knew I needed to find a way to make Rhubarb Crisp, stat!

So, I turned to the grill in hopes a cast iron skillet grilled dessert would do the trick!

Now don’t worry, you don’t have to break your oven to give this recipe a try. Whether you’re looking to expand your culinary bounds or just want to keep your kitchen cool, this Grilled Rhubarb Crisp recipe is a must try.

 

Here’s the thing, crisp is my go to because you can use any fruit you have on hand, most of the ingredients are staple kitchen items you don’t have to make a special trip to the grocery store for AND you don’t have to measure ingredients! I know, for those of you that need numbers I did include some estimates but I encourage you to take a leap. It’s just fruit and crunchy streusel, you can’t go wrong here.

For the grilled rhubarb crisp you see photographed here, I used a combination of rhubarb and strawberries, mixed with my secret ingredient, jam! For this particular crisp, it was my homemade blueberry strawberry jam which is a personal favorite.

 

INGREDIENTS

FILLING
  • 4 cups of fruit
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or try jam instead!)
  • 2-3 tablespoons cornstarch
STREUSEL TOPPING
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 stick of butter

    INSTRUCTIONS

    First things first, chop  your rhubarb into bite-sized pieces and add your strawberries. Remember fruit cooks down, so the more the merrier. If you’re not sure you have enough, or worried you have to much, toss it in the pan as you cut, when it’s full you know you have enough!

    As your fruit cooks down it’s going to produce some juices. To keep your crisp from being a fruit puddle, add a sprinkle (2-3 tablespoons) of cornstarch.

    Note: If you’re using frozen fruit, it’s best to let it thaw. However, if you’re impatient like me and your fruit is half thawed, air on the side of extra cornstarch as there will be more liquid.

    Now for my secret ingredient! At this point you can add 1/2 cup of sugar, however, I like to add homemade jam to my crisp as an alternative. I tend to use my freezer jam, as it has a higher sugar content, adding a heaping scoop (roughly 1/2 cup) to my fruit, folding it in to evenly coat.  If you don’t have homemade jam on hand, a store bough variety will do just fine too!

    Add fruit mixture to your cast iron skillet.

    ssFor the streusel topping you can use a food processor or combine by hand. I usually get the best “looking” results from a processor but both versions taste the same.

    Streusel topping is so easy to make, you just have remember 1, 2, 3!
    1 cup oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/3 cup flour.

    There are different variations you’ll come across online, but this is my go to measurements because it’s easy to remember and eyeball in a hurry. At this point you could also add crushed almonds, walnuts or pecans if you’d like. For apple crisp I also like to add a dash of cinnamon!

    Add your three ingredients into a food processor and cube 1 stick of cold butter.  You could probably get away with using less butter, but why? Blend until the butter turns to “pea-sized” chunks and the streusel holds when pressed together in your hand. If it doesn’t hold, you can add a tablespoon or so of cold water.

     

    If you’re mixing the streusel by hand, mix the dry ingredients and cube your butter just the same. Now you can take a pastry cutter, or your hands and blend together. I typically press and rub the butter between two fingers to create “flakes” – real technical terms here. You’ll want to make sure the streusel is the same consistency, holding when pressed together.

    Now sprinkle the streusel over the top of your fruit in the cast iron skillet.

    Time to hit the grill! This portion will be different for everyone depending on the type of grill you have. Our grill has a temperature gauge on the outside which is a huge asset when trying to use it like an oven, and I can also separately adjust the back and front burners. 

    Turn your grill on, and keep both burners on high for a few minutes to get nice and hot ( it doesn’t take long). I then place my skillet towards the back of the grill, in the middle. Turn the back burner off and turn the front burner between the high and medium heat mark. Sometimes this has to be adjusted to keep temperature, but you’re looking to stay right around 350 degrees. Keeping the lid closed, cook for 30 minutes, then rotate the skillet 180 degrees and cook for a remaining 15 minutes. Edges should be bubbling with browned streusel topping. 

     

    If your grill doesn’t have a temperature gauge, or you have trouble maintaining temperature, don’t worry! It just means you’ll have to cook your crisp a bit longer. My first attempt my heat was only around 300 degrees (for fear of burning it with an open flame below) and it took about an hour and a half to cook versus 45 minutes. 

    Grilled rhubarb crisp is liquid lava when it comes off the grill, so I advise you let it cool before eating….or just top with vanilla ice cream and devour! Enjoy!

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