Whether you love rhubarb desserts or only ever have it with strawberries, you have to try this spiced rhubarb crisp!
Sweet and tart, full of great flavors like ginger, cloves, and cinnamon, topped with oatmeal and pecans. And easy! So long as your butter is already soft, you can just about have this dessert ready to go by the time your oven finishes heating up.
One of my favorite things in the world is rhubarb season!
I buy piles every spring, do all sorts of baking with it (with strawberries or on its own), and then chop up and freeze the rest. That way I get the most out of the fresh rhubarb, but still get to enjoy it during the sadly rhubarb-free months of the year.
I’ve even done an ingredient spotlight on rhubarb which includes a roundup of all my yummy recipes which include the vegetable!
I’m lucky that one of our local farms (Oakdale Farms) always has it in the spring and often has it during the summer. It all depends on the weather since rhubarb doesn’t like it too hot. Like me! 🙂
What do you need?
- Rhubarb – Choose firm, unblemished stalks, preferably with some pink on them.
- Sugar – This is like cooking with cranberries. You need the sweetness!
- Spices – Use a mix of warm spices.
- Crumble Topping – This is very basic: oats, nuts, butter, flour, sugar, and spices.
How to make it
To make a spiced rhubarb crisp mix together the topping of oats, sugar, flour, and pecans with butter, then mix the rhubarb with sugar and spices. Put everything in a baking dish and top with the crumble then bake until golden brown and bubbling.
1. Make the Crumble
This recipe starts with a variation of my favorite crumble topping. To keep things simple, I use equal amounts of flour, oats, brown sugar, and pecans. It’s one half cup of each to cover an oval (or 9×9 square) baking dish. Easy!
Then you add the soft butter, a little salt, a bit of cinnamon (honestly I just shake it in, but I measured it for you and it’s 1/4 teaspoon), and get your hands in there and mix!
I do this all first before I prep anything else and I just put it the fridge to chill until I’m ready to use it.
2. Make the spiced rhubarb
Start by slicing up the rhubarb into ~1/2 inch pieces. I don’t get too fussy about it! And I won’t tell you how many stalks since there are thick and thin and long and short stalks, but it is about 2 pounds altogether.
Then measure out your spices, sugar, and vanilla and mix them it. (All the little bowls here are just for you to see it. 😉 Measure right into the bowl.) Mix it all and pour the filling into the baking dish.
3. Bake the crisp
Take out your crumble topping and spread it out over the filling. And into the oven it goes – 350F for about 50 minutes.
Once it is done, take it out to cool a bit. You can have it warm from the oven or at room temperature. And don’t forget the vanilla ice cream! It is an amazing combo.
Can you make it ahead?
There a few ways you can make this ahead.
- You can chop the rhubarb ahead and keep in the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer. Just make sure you thaw completely before if you are using frozen!
- You can prep the filling and the crumble topping, keeping them separate in the fridge for up to 1 day. Then top and bake.
- You can bake the crisp the day before and pop it back in the oven at 350F for 10-15 minutes to warm it up and recrisp the topping.
Can you freeze rhubarb?
Definitely! I freeze some every year. Slice it up into 1/2 inch pieces and store it, well wrapped and sealed, in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Do you have to peel rhubarb?
No! Do not peel. The peel will soften in cooking and provides a lot of flavor and color to any recipe you are making.
If you try my recipe for Spiced Rhubarb Crisp, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Baking, Annemarie
Spiced Rhubarb Crisp with Oatmeal Pecan Crumble
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, soft
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 2 lbs rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (6 cups)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp powdered ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 2-3 dashes ground cloves
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
Get set up
- Heat oven to 350F.
- Pull out either a 8x10 oval gratin dish or a 9x9 square baking dish.
Mix the Crumble Topping
- Add all topping ingredients to a bowl and mix well with your fingers until there is no dry flour. Set aside.
Mix the Spiced Rhubarb
- As with the topping, mix all the spiced rhubarb ingredients in a bowl until everything is coated and the spices are distributed throughout.
Make the Crisp
- Spread out the filling in your baking dish. Scatter the topping evenly over it all.
- Bake the crisp for 50-60 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Butter: The softer the better here. To soften quickly, cut your butter into small pieces and they'll be soft enough to work with fairly quickly. Also, 4 tablespoons may not look like enough, but it is.
- Rhubarb: You can use frozen, chopped rhubarb. Just thaw completely before using.]
- Gluten Free Topping: If you want a gluten-free crisp, I enjoy the topping on my pear crumble. Just swap out the topping here for that one. (I'll note that I did try to make this topping gluten free by swapping the flour and it didn't work very well. Use the other topping!)