I seem to have been assigning myself a lot of dessert homework lately, for some reason. It might be the advent of the Official Month of Death, since its arrival often seems to send me into a cooking frenzy.

I got some rhubarb and strawberries at the farmers’ market, so naturally it was time to make…


Rhubarb and Berry Crumble
With thanks to Jacques Pépin

3/4 lb rhubarb, cut into 2 inch pieces (about 3 cups) [Note: I cut it smaller]
3/4 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced (about 2 & 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup granola
5 tablespoons butter, room temperature

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Once again, Jacques wants you to mix things in a separate bowl before putting them in the casserole. Since I don’t have minions on staff to wash dishes (or a dishwasher, for that matter), I just mixed everything in the baking dish. He also wants you to add 24 fresh spearmint or peppermint leaves, but it sounds weird to me. If it sounds good to you, though, have at it and let me know how it turns out.

Another thing Jacques and I disagree on is the amount of sugar in the fruit and the granola. I think the rhubarb needs more than 1/4 cup of sugar, and the granola doesn’t need any. But he says to divide the sugar between the fruit and the granola. I put 1/3 cup sugar in the fruit and left the granola alone.


Mix the fruit with the sugar, two tablespoons of the flour and mint leaves if that’s your thing. Place in a baking dish.

Mix the granola with sugar, if you’re using it, the other two tablespoons of flour, and the butter until crumbly. I added a handful of chopped pecans. Sprinkle over the fruit and bake for about 35 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is browned. Jacques wants you to serve it with sour cream or crème fraîche. If you aren’t as selective* as I am about dairy products, you might like it Jacques-style, too.

*Basically, it’s butter and some kinds of cheese and that’s it.