Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler (gluten-free with an almond-oat topping)


In an effort to make my tried-and-true recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp into an equally loved gluten-free dessert for company a couple of years ago, I realized that I had essentially turned it into a cobbler.  No matter: with its new cookie-like topping, it was actually more loved than the original–healthier, too.  When I took the first sample to my rhubarb loving parents, my mom declared that she must start growing rhubarb!  This also happens to be the first thing my kids tend to request when our rhubarb plants sprout from the ground each year…and I happily prepare it.

So, what is the difference between a crisp and a crumble…and a buckle and a grunt for that matter?

  • Both a crisp and a crumble consist of sweetened fruit, often lightly thickened to produce syrupy juices, that is baked with a crumbly topping of flour, butter, sugar, spices, and sometimes oats.  Technically, a crumble contains oats and a crisp does not.
  • cobbler is a deep-dish, single-crusted fruit pie.  Typically, the crust is on the top, and although cobblers used to be made with pie dough, a sweet biscuit dough is more common today.  The dough is often dropped or arranged in a rustic or patterned way, giving the appearance of a cobbled road.
  • buckle is a dessert in which fruit is folded into cake batter and sprinkled with a streusel topping. The the weight of the topping makes the cake “buckle” in spots before the batter is set resulting in pockets of caramelized sugar and butter.  The result is sometimes compared to coffee cake.  Sometimes, the fruit is added to the top of the batter and the batter rises up around it as it bakes, creating that buckled look.
  • grunt descended from puddings cooked in pots over the fire.  Fresh fruit or berries are cooked down and then large dollops of biscuit dough are dropped on top.  The pan is then covered, and the dough cooks through the steam that escapes from the fruit.  The name is derived from the sound the bubbles make as they push through the thick syrup and break out between the biscuits.  This dessert is sometimes referred to as a slump for the way it slumps on the plate when served.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler (gluten-free with an almond-oat topping)
If available, thinner rhubarb stalks will be less fibrous. Consider freezing rhubarb at the height of the season to use in this and other recipes throughout the year. Simply wash, completely dry, and chop the rhubarb. Then freeze the pieces in a single layer on a cookie sheet. When frozen, transfer to a zipper-top bag, label, and store in the freezer.

Yields 6-8 servings.
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  1. 1 pound rhubarb (about 3 very slightly rounded cups), leaves discarded and stems cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  2. 1 pint strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
  3. 1/3 cup sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon cornstarch (see notes)
  5. 1 cup old-fashioned (rolled) oats (gluten-free, if necessary)
  6. 1 cup almond flour (preferably blanched; see notes)
  7. 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  8. 1/2 cup sugar
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  10. 2 egg whites
  11. 2 tablespoons melted butter
  12. Optional: Whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or frozen yogurt for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the rhubarb and strawberries in a 10-inch, ovenproof, round skillet (I like cast iron; a 10-inch pie plate or 9-inch square baking dish would also work well), and toss the fruit with the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. If you prefer a sweeter dessert or your strawberries are not especially sweet, you may add one extra tablespoon of sugar.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix the oats, almond flour, almonds, 1/2 cup sugar, and ginger. Add the egg whites and butter, and stir until blended.
  4. Spread the oat mixture evenly over the fruit mixture, leaving a small gap between the topping and the side of the skillet.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the rhubarb is bubbling and the topping is crisp and lightly golden. Allow the cobbler to rest for 5 minutes or so. Enjoy hot or at room temperature, with a dollop of whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or frozen yogurt, if desired.
  1. If a gluten-free recipe is not required, you may alternatively use 3 tablespoons whole wheat or all-purpose flour.
  2. Blanched almond flour tends to be finer and lacks the brownish pieces seen in some almond flours and meals. Both work in this recipe, although the blanched variety will produce a slightly lighter end result. The unblanched variety will look a little more rustic in its appearance. Bob’s Red Mill is the brand of blanched almond flour I typically use and is widely available.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen
This recipe was included in the May issue of Susquehanna Style and the photo, above, was taken by Donovan Roberts Witmer.


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    1. Ann

      I buy almond flour in the organic/gluten free section of our grocery store. Bob’s Red Mill is a widely available brand and is sold in a clear bag. I hope you can find it easily, Julie!

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  2. Robin

    Oats are cross contaminated with wheat in processing. Therefore this is not safe for people with celiac disease. Do you know where to find certified gluten free quick oats?

    1. Ann

      You are right, Robin, some people have to seek out gluten-free oats to avoid cross-contamination. I have purchased gluten-free quick oats from Bob’s Red Mill, although I do use the old-fashioned or 5-minute variety as opposed to quick oats for this recipe.

  3. Ana B.

    Hello! I have a question about how the egg whites are used in this recipe. Did you add them after being beat to a stiff peak or as they are after being separated? I made this today and mine looks fairly different (but still tastes very delicious) so I’d like to figure out why.

    1. Ann

      Hi Ana,
      There is no need to beat the eggs whites. If yours looked a little different, I am guessing your almond flour may not have been the fine, all-white blanched variety. I have made with the coarser almond flour or meal, too, and it looks a little more rustic. Both taste great, but they produce slightly different end results. I am so glad you enjoyed and appreciate your question!

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  7. Michele

    I am so glad I came across this recipe! Since going gluten free I have tried many cobbler recipes, but I wasn’t happy with any of them. This topping is perfect! And I always have a bag of almond flour in my freezer. I can’t wait until the end of the month when peaches are in season and I can use the topping on a peach cobbler. Thanks again!

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  10. A F

    Delicious! I used extra almond meal ( coarser type) instead of almonds as we had run out. Cooked in a 10 inch pyrex so it was deeper and narrower than as pictured. Topping layer was nearly an inch thick in places because of this. It looked and tasted great. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Ann

      I’m hungry just thinking about the thick layer on top. Thanks for the great feedback and so glad you enjoyed!

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