Rhubarb Crumble

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When my father was a kid growing up in Minnesota, in the summer he used to love to chew on rhubarb that grew like a weed around there, RAW.

That’s right. Raw. (The stalks, not the leaves which are poisonous.)

Have you ever tried biting into a piece of raw rhubarb stalk? I dare you. It’s like a hundred times more sour than a lemon (okay maybe a little exaggeration here). It’s screaming tart. It’s “what was I thinking?” tart.

Anyway, rhubarb is not safe around this house. The refrigerator half life for rhubarb is a couple hours at best. This last bunch we put to work into a lovely rhubarb crumble, based on a recipe dad found in Oprah magazine (yes, I had to get over the shock of that too, my dad, reading Oprah? then again she does have good recipes).

Rhubarb Crumble

Taking a tip from The Flavor Bible, I added a touch of cardamom to the vanilla and rhubarb in the filling, rhubarb+cardamom+vanilla being one of those match-made-in-heaven flavor combinations.

Another favorite combo with rhubarb that I love is ginger and orange zest, which would also work great with this crumble. Feel free to experiment.

The only thing you need to really keep an eye on is making sure you have enough sugar to balance out the tartness of the rhubarb. The ratio of rhubarb to sugar in this recipe is perfect for us, but if it ends up being too tart for you, add a little more sugar, or just eat with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or even straight cream.

Rhubarb Crumble Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Cooling time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 2 lbs rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Crumble Topping:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick or 4 ounces), cut into cubes

Method

1 Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the rhubarb, white sugar, 1/4 cup of flour, the vanilla extract, and the ground cardamom. Spoon into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

2 In a food processor, pulse together 1 cup of flour, the salt, and the brown sugar. Add the butter and pulse until the pieces of butter are pea-sized. (Alternatively, mix the dry ingredients together and cut the butter in with two knives or a pastry cutter.) Spread topping mixture over rhubarb mixture.

3 Place in oven and cook for 35-45 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the topping is lightly browned. Let cool for at least a half an hour before serving.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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Adapted from Catherine Newman's Rhubarb Crumble in Oprah Magazine, May 2009.

Rhubarb Crumble

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Showing 4 of 42 Comments

  • Chris

    I dug this up because I was looking for something to make with rhubarb. Because of another recipe I found I added apple pieces to the mix after cooking. Then – since I had some left over pie crust in the freezer – I made it as a pie topped with the Streusel on top. Like a Rhubarb Crumble & Rhubarb Pie in one fine dish :)
    My husband ate almost half a pie in one go.

  • Karrie Youngblood

    I tried this recipe this weekend. I was going through your site looking for a Rhubarb recipe, something different. Something beside my usual Rhubarb crisp recipe, which is really good, but I wanted something different. I usually half my sugar anytime I make a Rhubarb recipe, because I like the tartness of Rhubarb, but after reading you comments I decided to make it just like you have it. It was amazingly good! I wanted to try it once it came out of the oven and then couldn’t stop eating it. I just recently started using Cardamom and I can’t believe how much I like it. Thank you for such a great website and for sharing yourself with us.
    I have another Rhubarb recipe that I like and it is really easy. I call it Rhubarb cream cake and it is made with a cake mix.
    Ingredients.
    1 yellow cake mix and the ingredients to make it.
    4 cups of chopped Rhubarb
    ¾ cups of sugar
    1 pint of cream
    Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 pan. Make cake mix per instructions. Pour into the pan. Spread the Rhubarb evenly on top of the cake batter. Then pour the sugar evenly over the Rhubarb, pour the pint of cream over that. Bake in the over for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the cake cleanly. Serve warm or chilled. The Rhubarb, cream and sugar make custard at the bottom of the cake. I don’t know what the chemistry is that makes this work but it is great. You do not have to post this recipe. I just wanted to share with you. The original recipe called for two full cups of sugar. Way too sweet! I think next time I make it I will add some cardamom and vanilla to the sugar and see what happens. Yum Yum!!

  • Mary

    Elise – This dish was a perfect Father’s Day treat for a hot summer night! Thanks for the never-ending supply of excellent recipes! You make me look like a pro every time, without fail :) – Mary

  • Jane Castrignano

    The sugar content for the filling could have been reduced by at least a 1/4 of a cup and even maybe a 1/2 cup. It was way too sweet compared to other recipes. The crumble topping was delicious though.

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