It is a truth universally acknowledged that miniature versions of food are automatically more delicious and impressive. Case in point, mini-lasagnas and apple pie cookies.* Individually sized desserts tell *each* of your guests "I'm so happy you're here that I made this crumble specially for you." So thoughtful!
I made these mini strawberry rhubarb crumbles because I love smitten kitchen's recipe, which these are based on, but I hate how half eaten crumble/strawberry goo looks in a casserole dish. I also find that when I have to cut free form slices I inevitably succumb to gluttony and give myself a stomach ache.
Portion control and aesthetics! The only disadvantage is that there's slightly more surface area to clean, which is why dishwashers exist.
*Having made both, I'd say both are delicious but apple pie cookies are far too time consuming to be worth it unless you desperately want to impress. Mini lasagnas, on the other hand, are totally genius. They take less time than regular lasagna and look really fancy.
Step 1: What You Need
- 1 large stalk of rhubarb (~1.5 cups chopped into half inch pieces)
- 1 quart strawberries
- 1 lemon (or 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice)
- 1/2 cup sugar (I used cane sugar)
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 6 tablespoons sugar (smitten kitchen recommends half and half regular and raw sugar, but anything works)
- lemon zest (from your lemon)
- 1 stick (0.25 lb) unsalted butter
- cutting board/knife
- Measuring things
- 2 mixing bowls, ideally with volume measurements marked. One needs to be bigger than 1 liter (~1 qt) , and the other bigger than 500 mL (2 cups)
- a few small bowls to hold ingredients while cutting
- ramekins (I used 6oz ones)
This will make 8-9 6oz servings, or 12-13 4oz servings, depending on how much you fill the ramekins/care about them overflowing after baking. The whole process takes under an hour and a half, and 45 minutes of that is just baking.
Step 2: Prepare Filling
Preheat oven to 375 F
Chop the strawberries into quarters (or more if you have huge strawberries), removing stems. Toss in the lemon juse, sugar and cornstarch, and mix.
Chop the rhubarb into half inch pieces, trimming removing any wilted parts. Add to the mixing bowl, mix some more. The sugar and the cornstarch will bring out the water from the strawberries and make everything more gooey!
Step 3: Prepare Topping
Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and zest. In the smaller mixing bowl, add melted butter and then mix until it's lumpy. Since we're going to be putting this in small serving dishes, make sure to break up any big clumps.
Step 4: (Optional) Figure Out How Much Crumble Goes in Each Ramekin
If your mixing bowls have volume measurements, you can be more precise and figure out the exact ratio of filling to topping. I found that I had a liter of filling and 500 mL of topping, so the ratio was 2:1. My 6oz ramekins hold 3/4 cup, so each ramekin would get 1/2 cup of filling and 1/4 cup of topping.
Step 5: Assemble and Bake
Based on the ratio you either calculated in the last step, or the 2:1 ratio I used, split up the filling and topping. If you're using 6oz ramekins, put 1/2 cup of filling in each ramekin. There will be some goo leftover at the bottom, so just eyeball splitting that up between the ramekins. Then put 1/4 cup of the topping in each ramekin.
Bake on a foil lined sheet for about 45 minutes. The topping will be golden brown and the filling will be bubbly/overflowing.
Step 6: Enjoy!
Let it cool (but not too much, because it'll start to collapse a little) and serve with ice cream or whipped cream. The cornstarch actually makes the top of the crumble have a fair amount of structural integrity, so feel free to garnish with other heavy things too :)
Delight in your adorable crumbles.