The Best Rhubarb Strawberry Apple Crunch Cobbler

Rhubarb Strawberry Apple Cobbler 1
The Best Rhubarb Strawberry Apple Crunch Cobbler

This wonderful cobbler has it all! Sweet, Tart, Crumb Topped, and Pillows of tender pastry. Everything you want in a great cobbler. It can be served warmed or cold, alamode or with a dollop of whipped cream, however you want it, this one will be sure to please.

The best thing about this cobbler it is so easy to make. Sure there are a few components you have to get ready but the amount of time it takes is nothing compared to the outcome of this wonderful dessert.

Let us first talk about the different types of rhubarb;

Important Facts about Rhubarb:

Rhubarb pic
Field grown is very different from what you would find at stores or a farmers market (hothouse grown)
It has a thick fibrous outside layer that needs to be peeled and discarded before use. The thicker outside layer is not as evident on the hothouse and store types.

Hothouse rhubarb is usually brighter red, tenderer and sweeter-tasting than field grown rhubarb.
Peak season for field-grown rhubarb is April to June but also a late harvest in August to September.
Rhubarb has a strong, tart taste with crimson and green stalks. Both which are abundant in flavor. Whichever color yours are, the stalks should be heavy and crisp with taut shiny skin. Watch out for rubbery, fibrous, dry stalks and do not use those. Wash the stalks well and trim off the dry ends and leaves. Store in crisper drawer of your refrigerator for later use but I prefer to cut and use the day I plan to bake. They also can be frozen in stalk form or cut up. Be sure to use proper freezing techniques as discussed in my section on How to Freeze Foods Longer

Little water is needed in the cooking/baking process since rhubarb stalks contain a great deal of water on their own. Thickeners are a must when baking with this plant. The addition of other fruits and their water content has been taken into account with various thickeners used in each part of this recipe so do not change those additions.

Thickeners would include;
Corn Starch – Flour – Pectin – Arrowroot Starch or my favorite is instant Tapioca
Instant Tapioca pic
The tapioca pearls and arrowroot starch work best to keep my juices clear and provide a nice sheen and gloss in the final product.

Corn starch will not be as glossy but the taste would be the same also if you plan to freeze your pie or cobbler this isn’t a good substitute to use; fillings made with cornstarch gets spongy when it’s frozen. Flour also gives a cloudy appearance but can be frozen. In this recipe I will be using a combination of flour, corn starch and tapioca since the ingredients will yield a large amount of juices and the sheen will not be compromised. Not to mention none of this recipe will be frozen !! HA HA

I could go on and on about thickeners but that is another day and another post I will have for you down the road. Be sure to check back since I will be posting a complete article on how to thicken pies, cobblers and gravy’s with greater detail. But for now it is all about the cobbler. 🙂

Warning:
Rhubarb leaves contain poisonous substances, including oxalic acid, which is a nephrotoxic and corrosive acid and can stop the human heart if ingested. You want to be careful when choosing your rhubarb, if damaged by severe cold it should not be eaten, as it may be high in oxalic acid, which migrates from the leaves into the stalks and can cause illness.
If you want to use the leaves as a Natural Pesticide please see my post on Rhubarb Spray for Shrubs, Flowering Plants and Trees

When cutting fresh rhubarb always use gloves and use a pruning shears. Remember to clean the pruners before use on any other plant with soap and warm water.
Cut the ends off on either side. Wash the outside stalks in cold water. The amount shown will yield 4 cups of rhubarb.


How To Prep Rhubarb:

You can see on the picture above center the fibrous outside layer. This is what you will be peeling off as shown. Very lightly with a paring knife pull back the fibrous part and pull down the stalk. Just a very thin layer so don’t go to deep. Some may not need to be peeled. If you are using store bought or farmers market types, peeling will not be necessary.

What You Will Need:

This list is for all parts of this recipe if you have some made ahead of time you will not need everything shown.

1 Recipe of Cinnamon Crumb Topping for EVERYTHING
1 10×13 Baking Dish minimum 2 ½ inches Deep
Colander
1 Large Mixing Bowl
3 Medium Mixing Bowls
1 Balloon Whisk
1 Wooden Spoon
Pastry Cutter
Cutting Board
Paring Knife
Chef’s Knife
Pan Spray
Measuring Spoons
Measuring Cups
Large Spoon for Batter (I use two and pull out enough dough like I am making really large cookies)
Food Processor Fitted with S-Blade (if using to make crumb topping)

Ingredients:

Fruit Mixture:

  • 4 Cups Clean and Copped Rhubarb
  • 2 ½ Cups Fresh Strawberries Washed, Cored and Cut as shown
  • 1 Large Granny Smith Apple Peeled, Cored and Cut as shown
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • ½ Tablespoon Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
  • 2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
  • ½ Cup Instant Tapioca (pearls)

Fruit Seasoning

  • 1 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ Teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Starch

Cobbler Batter

  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • ¾ Cup White Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Shortening (Not Butter)
  • 1 Jumbo Egg
  • 1 Cup Milk (Have more available per recipe)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C)
Prepare pan with Cooking Spray bottom and sides place aside.

Rhubarb Strawberry Apple Cobbler 17

 

Once all the Rhubarb has been cleaned, chop into ½ to 1 inch pieces using your cutting board and chef’s knife, place in large mixing bowl.

Wash all your strawberries and remove the core. Slice in half or more if really large. Leave in strainer. You want to allow them to dry a bit from washing. Do not add to rhubarb yet. These do not go in until the end.

Rhubarb Strawberry Apple Cobbler 8

Peel the apple and core it. Slice into bite size pieces as shown. I only needed 1 since my granny smith were huge but if you have small ones use 2. Place in with rhubarb.


Mix the apple and rhubarb together, add fresh lemon juice and zest.
Add the 2 Tablespoons of corn starch, 2 Tablespoons of flour and instant tapioca. Mix well with spoon or your hand. I use my hands since I have better control of not over working the fruit.

Rhubarb Strawberry Apple Cobbler 11

In a medium bowl add all the ingredients from the fruit seasoning section above and whisk together.


Now add the fruit seasoning mixture to the fruit, coat the rhubarb and apple well and add the strawberries but gently with your hand. Gradually mix them into the rest of the fruit. Place aside to allow the tapioca pearls to open up and soften from the juices.

Rhubarb Strawberry Apple Cobbler 16

While the fruit is rendering its juices and increasing its flavor, you need to make your crumb topping so it has time in the refrigerator/freezer to firm up before use. Unless you already have it ready as I do. 🙂 If you have it ready leave it in the refrigerator or the freezer until needed in this recipe. If not go ahead and click this link Cinnamon Crumb Topping for EVERYTHING to prepare this and have it ready and cold.

Rhubarb Strawberry Apple Cobbler Crumb Topping 2

When your crumb topping is getting cold, you want to make your Cobbler batter. In the last medium bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt from the cobbler batter ingredient list and whisk together.

Add the shortening with pastry cutter until it resembles coarse meal as shown below.

Add egg and milk, using your wooden spoon mix in, you may need more milk depending on many factors so have more milk ready and add 1 tablespoon at a time until it comes together and resembles a really thick pancake batter. Above picture shows you how it should look. You do NOT want it runny. It should feel very thick and hold up on the spoon.

Now it is time to bring it all together.

Place dollops of the batter using 2 very large spoons as if you are making drop cookies. Roll it off the spoons as shown using only half the batter, spacing them far apart from each other.

Rhubarb Strawberry Apple Cobbler 18

Mix the fruit once or twice and pour entire contents over the dollops of dough and into the baking dish, be sure to include all the juices. You want to allow at least 1 inch of space from lip of pan to the layer of fruit.

Using the other half of the batter, dollop on top of the fruit in opposite positions from the bottom dollops. Tap down the dollops if too high of a mound. See above right picture
Place in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. I would suggest a sheet pan placed on the rack below the rack the cobbler is on just in case you over filled, but not under the baking dish. This will catch any over spill.

After 20 minutes this is how it will look

Pull from oven and place crumb topping on as shown above.  I use my hands breaking it apart and placing it all over the top. Place back in oven.

Bake for another 30-40 minutes or until done. The Cobbler top will be a beautiful golden brown and juices will be bubbling and thickened. Compare what the juices look like in the above picture after 20 minutes compared to the juices in the below picture. Oh and yes there is a piece missing already ha ha

To test for doneness open one of the cobbler dollops as shown above with a fork and see if it pulls apart with no doughy looking center to it. If still doughy or gooey looking place back in for 15 minutes and recheck. Serve as is or add ice cream or whipping cream 🙂

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