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.)
What Does Rhubarb Taste Like?
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 (OK 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 this lovely 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.
How Much Sugar to Add to Rhubarb
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.
Adding Fruit to This Rhubarb Recipe
Strawberry is a classic flavor combination with rhubarb. Adding half strawberry in place of half the rhubarb in this recipe would work really well. Apples, pears, and blackberries can also make up to half the fruit in this crumble. If using a sweet fruit in addition to the rhubarb, consider decreasing the amount of sugar by 1/4 cup.
The Difference Between a Crisp and a Crumble
Crisps and crumbles are similar, and often the terms are used interchangeably. However, traditionally a crisp includes oats or nuts in the topping, and a crumble—like this one—does not.
How to Serve and Store Rhubarb Crumble
Serve this dessert warm, but let it sit for about a half hour after it comes out of the oven so it's not too runny. Serve plain, or serve with fresh whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or yogurt on top. Or serve at room temperature or cold.
Store crumble covered at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator, tightly covered to preserve moisture, up to one week.
5 More Rosy Rhubarb Desserts
- Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
- Rhubarb Fool
- Rhubarb Ginger Galette
- Rhubarb Sorbet
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars
The weight of the rhubarb should take precedence over the number of cups. The number of cups can vary depending on the size of the cut rhubarb pieces.
Adapted from Catherine Newman's Rhubarb Crumble in Oprah Magazine, May 2009.
For the filling
2 pounds rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
For the crumble topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup light brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into cubes
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Prepare the filling:
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the rhubarb, white sugar, 1/4 cup of flour, vanilla extract, and the cardamom.
Spoon into a 9x13-inch baking dish.
Make the topping:
In a food processor, pulse together 1 cup of flour, salt, and brown sugar. Add the butter and pulse until the pieces of butter are pea-sized. (Alternatively, mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl and cut the butter in with 2 knives or a pastry cutter.)
Spread the topping mixture over the rhubarb mixture.
Place in oven and bake at 375°F for 35 to 45 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the topping is lightly browned. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 12g||15%|
|Saturated Fat 7g||37%|
|Total Carbohydrate 74g||27%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||9%|
|Total Sugars 55g|
|Vitamin C 9mg||45%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|