Rhubarb Apple Crisp

Summer is a time for sharing the excesses of nature’s bounty among friends. Recently, my friend Loie asked if I was interested in some fresh rhubarb given to her by a neighbor kid. While I’ve never used the celery-like ingredient in cooking, I saw the gift would be a good excuse to be adventurous.

It took quite a bit of online research to realize rhubarb is typically combined with strawberries to create a delicious pie. This completely made sense to me because both items are at their peak at roughly the same time.

I wasn’t in the mood for the usual strawberry rhubarb pie. So when I ran across a crisp recipe by Kevin at Closet Cooking, I was immediately inspired. The tartness of the rhubarb combined with the sweet apples made for an amazing dessert what had a rich undertone of flavor. This recipe is a great example of taking something ordinary and making it extraordinary.

Rhubarb Apple Crisp

Crumb Topping:
1 cup quick cooking oats
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ cup butter, chilled & small diced

Place all topping ingredients, except the butter, into a mixing bowl and set your mixer speed to medium.  With the mixer still running, slowly add the cubed butter to the dry mixture.  Mix until well combined and the butter is roughly the size of small grapes.

3 medium size gala apples, peeled & cored
2 thick spears rhubarb
3-4 Tbl. sugar
¼ cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbl. fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the apples and rhubarb into roughly 2 inch cubes. The final portion sizes should be 3 cups apples and 2 cups rhubarb. Toss in a medium mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients. Evenly pour the filling into a 9” X 13” baking dish and sprinkle the crumb topping over the filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until bubbly golden brown. Serves 6-8 people.

Authors Note: You can use a 9 inch square baking pan if you like a thicker filling versus topping. Baking time might take a little longer. Loosely inspired by Closet Cooking

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  • I made this for our weekly family dinner (my turn to make dessert). It was a big hit! We served it with butter pecan ice cream. I added more rhubarb than the recipe called for because I already had it frozen. Next time, I would add chopped pecans – yum! I never thought to make the topping using my KitchenAid Mixer – great idea. I kept the mixing speed to low the whole time because medium was making the dry ingredients fly out of the bowl. While the topping was mixing, I prepared the apples. I also used the juice from a fresh orange instead of the lemon juice, again, because I had it on hand. I might add some orange zest to this next time too. Great recipe – thanks!