Ginger Rhubarb Crisp

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I love walking. Really love it.

I feel great when I'm running, I really enjoy bike riding, and I tolerate most other forms of non-competitive physical activity. But I love walking. Something about slowing down, taking everything in, getting your heart rate up in a refreshing way, breathing deeply. To me, it's meditation in movement. I think I've solved most of my life's problems while walking.

The other night I went for a beautiful walk. I went out just as the sun was starting to fall. The light was soft and dusky, with a blush of pink just starting to tint the sky.

I tied my hair in a high, swingy ponytail, cranked my music, and delighted in moment that my sneakers were pushing off the sidewalk.

I was remembering when I was a kid, and my mom had to bribe me with ice cream to get me out with her on power walks. It would embarrass the heck out of me every time we reached our turn-around spot. She'd be clocking about 5 miles an hour on her muscly legs down a busy street. Suddenly and without warning she would come to a screeching HALT, dramatically swinging one leg around to perform a 180 degree turn. She'd be full tilt in the opposite direction without missing a single stride.

That embarrassed the heck out of my fragile 12 year old self. My delicate pre-teen ego could only tolerate turning after pretending to tie my shoelace, letting the cars pass who had seen me walking in one direction before starting nonchalantly in the other. I thought of this today when I turned so fast that I got a calf-cramp and whipped myself in the eyeball with my ponytail.

I think I'm going to be an embarrassing mom someday, too.

For now, I resolve to take more long walks.


Are you as besotted with rhubarb as I am? I can't get enough of those shiny, ruby red stalks. I'm completely smitten with this puckersome dessert.

Ginger's heat is a delicious complement to rhubarb's tang. This recipe has a double hit of ginger - freshly grated in the filling, and crushed ginger snaps in the topping. Fragrant orange zest ties it all together.


Using cookies in the topping gave it a great texture, making it extra crumbly. It is lovely.

Serve warm or room temperature, with whipped cream or ice cream. I sometimes dial the brown sugar in the filling back to 1/2 cup, for an extra-ordinarily tangy treat. Admittedly not for the faint of heart, and if made this way, ice cream is non-negotiable.

Do you find long walks as wonderfully therapeutic as I do?

  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8Servings


For Filling:

  • 1 1/4 lbs / 600 g chopped rhubarb (4 large stalks)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp flour

For Topping:

  • 1 cup (3 oz) coarsely crushed ginger snaps
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Make Filling: In a large bowl, combine the chopped rhubarb, brown sugar, orange zest, vanilla extract, grated ginger and flour. Toss well to combine. Spread in the bottom of a 6-cup/1.5 L baking dish (such as 8"x 8" square).

  3. Make Topping:In a separate bowl, stir together crushed ginger snaps, flour, brown sugar and salt. Use your fingers to work in the softened butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spread topping evenly over rhubarb filling and bake 1 hour, or until topping is golden and filling is tender and bubbling.

  4. for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until top is golden and filling is bubbling around edges.