Grain-free Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

June 20, 2012 · 9 comments

The bad news? Strawberry season in Indianapolis is pretty much over (I bought my last quart a couple weeks ago, with nary a strawberry to be seen at this past Saturday’s market — though the raspberries were starting to appear, with blueberries imminent! silver linings abound!).

The good news? You can make this crisp with less-than-stellar berries (i.e., storebought), and it’s still good. And the rhubarb should be flowing freely for many weeks to come (especially if friends have given you an open-garden-policy on the stalks growing beside their garage).

Of course, with a recipe like a crisp, you can substitute whichever fruit or berry is currently in season. Simply adjust the sweetener to the natural sweetness of your berries, and experiment with adjusting herbs and/or spices.

This is one of those rare, delightful desserts that can be made grain-free, and almost no one will notice. It still ends up with the necessary buttery (or not! — dairy-free option is below), crispy topping over sweet-tart fruit. Begging for a scoop of ice cream — we donned ours with my favorite dairy-free version to-date — recipe coming in a near-future post.

Be sure an make this on a night you can share it — it tastes best the day it’s made (though I’ll confess to eating our leftovers the day after, with not a breath of complaint between mouth-fulls).


Recipe: Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp (grain-free, optional dairy-free, GAPS-adaptable)

: serves 6-8, inspired by this recipe from A Couple Cooks

This recipe can be made legal for the GAPS diet by omitting the balsamic vinegar and starch thickener. The filling will lose a little flavor complexity (try substituting 1 Tbsp lemon juice for the vinegar), and will be very soupy without a thickener. One way to help alleviate this problem is to combine the filling ingredients, let the fruits exude juices, then drain the filling before pouring into the baking dish. After baking, you can also carefully pour off some of the excess liquid.


for the filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb (about 3/4 pound, stalks chopped into 1/2″ pieces)
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups hulled and sliced strawberries (a heavy quart, or 1 pound)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (omit for GAPS)
  • 6 Tbsp honey
  • pinch salt
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca or corn starch (omit for GAPS, see note)

for the topping:

  • 1/4 cup chopped shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 Tbsp butter (sub coconut oil for dairy-free)


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Have ready an 8″ square baking dish, or pie plate.
  2. In a large bowl, combine fruits, lemon zest, optional vinegar, honey, and salt. Toss well to combine.
  3. In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the nuts, almond flour, and salt. Using a fork, stir in the butter (or coconut oil) and honey. The topping will be gooey.
  4. Pour the fruit into the prepared baking dish. Using your fingers, dot the topping mixture over top of the fruit, spreading as evenly as possible (some fruit will still be visible underneath).
  5. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the top is golden and the fruit bubbly. Cool for 15 minutes, or to room temperature. Best served the day it’s made, topped with a scoop of ice cream.

Copyright © Katy Carter, 2012.

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This post was linked up to Simple Lives Thursday, and the Strawberry Seasonal Recipe Roundup, via GNOWFGLINS.

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bethanyrx June 20, 2012 at 8:05 am

HOORAY! I have been waiting for this one! 😀

katy June 20, 2012 at 8:15 am

yay! so happy to oblige ; )

Beth June 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm

This looks a-MAZ-ing. Can’t wait to try!

Sonja June 20, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Ooo, it worked! So proud our lowly rhubarb could go to such a noble cause! :) We may have to try this one – looks great!

Barb @ A Life in Balance June 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I just found your blog through the Simple Lives blog hop, and I’m looking forward to reading more. This recipe looks yummy!

Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS June 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Oh, goodness, this looks delicious! I’ve been thinking balsamic vinegar is okay for GAPS if it is well-aged and does not have added sugar. Most grocery store varieties have added sugar for sweetness and they’re not aged very long. What do you think?

katy June 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Wardeh, I’ve thought that it’s the sugar PLUS the caramel color that’s in many store-bought vinegars. I’ve been using a locally-bottled, 10-year balsamic with no problems (thankfully, as I do love balsamic vinaigrette!).

Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS June 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm

We keep using it too. I think mine is aged 50 years. There’s no caramel color, either. I’d hate to give it up! :)

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