Rhubarb crisp is an easy, beloved summer recipe. A buttery, crumbly topping belies a sweet, sticky rhubarb filling with just enough pucker to keep you going back for spoonful after spoonful. It takes far less effort than pie, with similarly delicious results.
My preferred fruit crisp topping is similar to a streusel. I work softened butter into a mixture of brown sugar and flour until it is evenly distributed. Although a bit messy, I find it easiest to do this job with my hands. Don’t pretend it’s not satisfying to squash bits of butter into sandy brown sugar. When it’s ready to go, there’ll be no dry flour left and you’ll be able to pinch bits of the topping together to form large clumps.
The butter and brown sugar caramelize under the oven’s heat to create a rich and butterscotchy topping that yields to the fork like bites of tender shortbread.
Feel free to add 1/4 cup of rolled oats or the same amount of chopped nuts if you like (but if using nuts, watch for scorching and cover with parchment or aluminum foil while baking when they start to get dark).
How To Make Rhubarb Crisp
- Chop rhubarb into small pieces.
- Toss with sugar and flour right in the baking dish.
- Mix flour and brown sugar with softened butter to make a crumble topping.
- Sprinkle topping over rhubarb and bake until bubbly. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
How to Store Rhubarb Crisp
Rhubarb crisp is fine left covered on the counter for 24 hours. Refrigerate up to 2 days. It’ll be fine for up to 5 days but the topping won’t be as crisp.
Serve leftovers with cold milk for breakfast (perhaps a quirk of my childhood, but very delicious) or rewarm in the microwave and serve with ice cream for dessert.
Make it a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Feel free to swap up to half of the rhubarb for strawberries in the filling, scaling the sugar down to 1 cup to compensate for the berries’ extra sweetness.
Easy Rhubarb Crisp
- 2 lbs rhubarb stalks (yielding 6 cups chopped)
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cups brown sugar
- ¼ tsp coarse salt
- ½ cup softened butter
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Make the filling:
- Line a 9×12" baking dish with parchment paper. Chop the rhubarb in 1/4" pieces and add to baking dish along with sugar and 1/3 cup flour. Use your hand to toss everything together.
Make the topping:
- In a separate bowl, stir together flour, sugar and salt. Use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles wet sand and no dry flour remains. Crumble topping evenly over the rhubarb. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until filling is bubbling and topping is golden.