Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Oatmeal Walnut Topping

June 13th, 2014 at 5:05 am

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Oatmeal Walnut Topping |

My dad is pretty much the best guy ever (which you probably already know from this post), and so to celebrate I made him Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp!

My dad is cool without being the stuffy kind of cool. He’s smart, kind, humorous, and eager to learn—but it all comes off naturally and never seems forced. He’s taught me a lot about authenticity and honesty simply by being authentic and honest in his own life. The best leaders lead by example.

I didn’t have to think long and hard about what my dad would want on Father’s Day. Pies and crisps have always been his favorites. When I spotted some beautiful long stems of rhubarb at my co-op yesterday along with vibrant organic strawberries (that just so happened to be on sale!), I scooped them up, hurried home, and got to work on this beauty of a crisp.

Which was pretty much no work at all.

Crisps are the soups of the dessert world: simple to make, easy to adapt to the seasons, and hard to mess up once you’ve had a little crisping experience.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Oatmeal Walnut Topping |

I added a special ingredient to this one that you won’t find in most strawberry rhubarb crisps. Can you guess it? I’ll give you a minute…

If you guessed grated apple, you’re correct! I love the extra boost of sweetness it gives, as well as the natural pectin that contributes to the thickness of the juices. It’s a subtle addition and one that won’t jump out at your palate. Grating is key to disguising the apple and keeping the spotlight on the berries and rhubarb.

Somewhere along the way, I forgot to add orange zest to this crisp. (Gulp. Embarrassed food blogger at your service!) But if you have an orange on hand I highly recommend grating a little zest into your fruit mixture. It jazzes things up in an unexpected and oh-so-summery way.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Oatmeal Walnut Topping |

This crisp uses more sweetener than you’ll typically find in my recipes, but that sort of comes with the territory when you’re dealing with rhubarb. If you’d like to experiment with reducing the coconut sugar to your tastes, please feel free! I don’t mind a dessert that’s more on the tart side, so if it was just me eating this crisp, I’d probably go with 3-4 tablespoons in the filling and 2-3 in the topping.

More desserts the Dad in your life may love:

Have a wonderful Father’s Day weekend!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Walnut Topping

Yield: Serves 6

A gorgeous gluten-free crisp if there ever was one, this fruity dessert packs in loads of flavor with tangy rhubarb, sweet strawberries, and buttery walnuts.


For the fruit:

3 cups chopped rhubarb

2-1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries

1 medium apple, such as Gala or Fuji, peeled and grated

1/3 cup coconut sugar or organic cane sugar

2 tablespoons arrowroot starch

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch of sea salt

For the topping:

1 cup gluten-free rolled oats (not instant or quick-cook)

1/2 cup raw walnuts, finely chopped

1/3 cup coconut sugar or organic cane sugar

2 tablespoons arrowroot starch

Pinch of sea salt

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut oil or grass-fed organic butter, softened


Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Prepare the fruit: In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, apple, coconut sugar, arrowroot, lemon juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Toss thoroughly to combine. Set aside.

Prepare the topping: Combine the oats, walnuts, coconut sugar, arrowroot, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the coconut oil or butter. Use your fingers to work the oil/butter into the oat mixture until you have a moist but crumbly topping.

Give the fruit mixture another toss, then transfer to a 9-inch pie dish or 8x8-inch baking dish. (Make sure to include all those beautiful thick juices!) Crumble the topping over the fruit. Press gently to adhere.

Place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes until deeply golden brown and bubbly. Cool for at least 1 hour before serving. (Store leftovers in the refrigerator.)


  1. I love a good crisp too Hallie. I was raising on them :) Yours sounds like it’s right up our alley. I know I’d love your Dad :) xo

  2. Looks delicious! I’ve never bought or cooked with rhubarb, I really need to try this – and I love the addition of grated apple :)

  3. Hi, I am interested in trying out your recipe, but I don’t do well with arrowroot starch. Wondering if you would have a recommendation for a substitute.

  4. This is a wonderful recipe! We did not have arrowroot starch and the apple on hand, so I substituted corn starch and upped the rhubarb and strawberry amounts. I looked great and was pleasingly tart. With a dollop of Cabot vanilla Greek yogurt, it was delicious.

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I'm Hallie Klecker, a professional recipe developer, author, and passionate gluten-free foodie. As a certified holistic nutrition educator, my goal is to inspire others to live a balanced, nourished life through eating well and living pure—one bite at a time. Learn more.