Monday, May 24, 2010

When Spring Gives You Rhubarb.....

I grew up eating rhubarb pies and square made by my grandmother. She had two large rhubarb plants growing behind her house and during Spring and early Summer there would always be some sort of tart treat for us waiting when we visited. I don't have a rhubarb plant, but during this time of year it can easily be found at the farmer's market, Whole Foods, or lucky for me, a friend's house.

The classic pairing for rhubarb is strawberry (though if you ask Martha Stewart, she would tell you that she would NEVER pair those two together since their growing seasons are not exactly the same....). I love a strawberry rhubarb pie, but have really fallen in love with the flavor of rhubarb on it's own.

Crisps have also become a staple in my house. If I need to whip up dessert, a crisp is the easiest way to go. No dough to make and you don't have to worry about the way it looks. It is all bubbly and smells fantastic while it's baking. The textures are wonderful too. The creaminess of the cooked rhubarb with the crunchy oat and almond topping is perfect. All you need to finish this off is a nice scoop of good vanilla ice cream or some fresh whipped cream. The perfect Springtime dessert.

Rhubarb Crisp

serves 6-8

2 lbs rhubarb- cut into 1/2- 1 inch pieces (no need to be exact here. Just try and cut them all the same size)
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

for the topping:
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup light-brown sugar
1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375

For the filling, combine rhubarb, sugar, and flour in an 3-quart baking dish. Let macerate (the reaction between the sugar and the rhubarb will make the rhubarb start letting out its juice) for 15 to 20 minutes.

For the topping, combine flour, oats, sugar, almonds, cinnamon, and butter in a large bowl. Work dry ingredients with fingers until all butter is absorbed.

Spread topping over rhubarb. Bake crisp until top is golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes.


  1. OMG. this sounds amazing! my sister and I grew up eating strawberry rhubarb that my grandmother grew and made herself- she just make it almost like an applesauce texture and we would eat it by the bowl...AMAZING!

  2. Thanks Alethia!! This was amazingly good (and we did add the first CT strawberries of the season)! Some of the rhubarb was still a little hard -- maybe I didn't chop it small enough. And I burnt the top a little (probably didn't mix up the filling enough) -- see even with all your guidance, some chefs can't get it right. Thankfully it was a crisp so I just brushed the burnt topping aside, added a little butter and re-browned. Voila! Delish!