I happen to be a lover of surprises. Ask my husband about this and he’ll tell you a good surprise has the potential to get me jumping up and down as if I were five. I revel in this pure happiness unapologettically, even if it seems far fetched to people like my husband. Life is short! When I’m greeted with happy news I don’t contain my excitement.
So you can picture me finding a lone rhubarb (left over from this dessert) with no plans had me pretty happy. I had just started on dinner that night and hadn’t even thought of dessert. But once I saw that rhubarb, fresh orange juice and oats, I quickly created a mental blueprint for a Rhubarb Crisp.
I had enough rhubarb to comfortably make two crisps. The beauty of crisps is that most anything can work for the base and rhubarb shines beautifully for this! For this recipe, I used xylitol for a traditional sugar-sweet flavor in the base. Xylitol melts down under heat and does not caramelize, which allows it to soak perfectly into slightly bitter rhubarb. It created such a delicious bite. Be sure to add the arrowroot or cornstarch powder to thicken the rhubarb juices and xylitol. This is all topped with classic crisp ingredients – oats, flour, butter and spice. Coconut sugar in the crisp topping lends that caramelized texture we crave. Everything is right!
A peek into the oven a few minutes later had me giddy. Bubbling juices, caramelized, golden tops and thick bites of sweet rhubarb. It was dessert with minimal ingredients. It took me under 10 minutes to assemble. But the scent that filled my kitchen was intoxicating. My favorite part might have been sharing the surprise with my hubby. Perfect dessert for two!
Healthy Rhubarb Crisp for Two
1 large Rhubarb Stock, cubed in 1/4 inch slices, about 1 1/2 cups
1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
2 Tablespoons Xylitol
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Arrowroot or Cornstarch Powder
1/3 cup Oats
1/4 cup Gluten-Free Flour Mix
2 Tablespoons Chopped Pecans or Walnuts
1/4 cup Coconut Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon + dash Fresh Nutmeg
4 Tablespoons Cold Butter or Coconut Oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the sliced rhubarb, orange juice, xylitol, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Mix to combine. Sprinkle the arrowroot or cornstarch powder over the mixture and mix. Divide the mixture between 2 mini tart pans or ramekins. In the same bowl, add the dry ingredients for the crisp. Cut in the cold butter or oil to make a crumble. Sprinkle over the rhubarb layer. Bake crisps at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes, or until tops are crisp and rhubarb is soft and caramelized. Enjoy warm or at room temperature with natural powdered sugar.