Cool Strawberry-Rhubarb Coupe

Preparation info

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    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

Rhubarb and strawberries have a natural affinity, the sweet berries cutting through what early Americans called “pie-plant’s” astringency. This is a light variation on the classic spring fruit combination.

Tossing strawberries with sugar is a good idea for almost any use. The sugar helps draw out the berries’ natural juices, forming a light natural syrup; it also intensifies and heightens their color and flavor.


  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cups thinly sliced hulled strawberries (about pints)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • Cold water, as needed
  • 1 cup diced (¼ inch), trimmed rhubarb, fresh or frozen thawed
  • ½ teaspoon grated orange zest
  • Nonfat yogurt
  • Mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)


    1. Stir together 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the strawberries, and lemon juice in a bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is juicy, about 30 minutes.
    2. Stir the remaining sugar and the cornstarch in a medium saucepan until blended and free of lumps. Strain the juice from the berries into a 2-cup measure and add enough cold water to measure cups. Gradually stir the juice mixture into the cornstarch-sugar mixture until smooth. Add the rhubarb and ½ cup of the strawberries.
    3. Stir the mixture over medium-low heat until boiling. Reduce the heat and boil gently, stirring and mashing the berries with the back of a wooden spoon, until the juices are thickened and shiny, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
    4. Cool the fruit mixture just until lukewarm, about 15 minutes. Fold in the remaining strawberries and the orange zest until blended. Spoon into goblets and cool thoroughly before serving. This dessert is best eaten the day it is prepared and kept at cool room temperature rather than refrigerated.
    5. Serve topped with a spoonful of yogurt and a sprig of mint, if desired.