When I think about what summer tastes like to me, two distinct flavors come to mind: those multi-colored rockets pops from the ice cream truck and my mom’s homemade rhubarb crisp. Every year I look forward to this rhubarb crisp. In fact, I think just the memory of it is what helped me get through the last few weeks of school and finals. It combines the blissful oppositions of tart and sweet and crumbly and creamy. There’s just something about traditional family recipes that makes them so much better than everything else. I adapted the old classic into a slightly healthier vegan version by using non-dairy substitutes and cutting the amount of sugar, but it still contains a couple of the same secret summer ingredients: sunshine and nostalgia.
Classic Rhubarb Crisp [Vegan]
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 1/2 cups rhubarb stalks, chopped into 1″ pieces
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup melted vegan butter
- 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8×8″ square pan.
- Combine the maple syrup, water and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer and stir for about 5 minutes or until the color changes from a murky brown to a clear light brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, oats and cinnamon. Add in the margarine and non-dairy milk and mix together using a fork or your fingers until it is crumbly. If the crumbs aren’t sticking together well enough, add another tablespoon of non-dairy milk.
- Press half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of your pan and cover with chopped rhubarb. Pour the syrup evenly over the rhubarb and top with the rest of the crumbs. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until the top turns a nice golden brown.