The sweet apples paired with tart rhubarb in this apple rhubarb crisp combines summer and fall flavors in a delicious bowl.
For me, the best desserts are fruit desserts. From pies to cobblers to crisps and bars, even cakes taste better with fruit in it! Maybe it’s my way of convincing myself that my sweet dessert is actually good for me?!
My kids go along with my baking addiction. Why not? They benefit from my love of fruit desserts as much as I do. This apple rhubarb crisp is my latest fruit dessert recipe that makes me swoon.
Why this recipe is so awesome
There is fruit crisp calling your name for every season!
What I love about this apple rhubarb crisp is that it combines two seasons in one dish. Tart summer rhubarb meets sweet fall apples, baked together in a delicious dessert.
A fruit crisp can be dressed up and served at a dinner party or prepared for a weeknight treat for the family. Bake in a large baking dish or in individual ramekins. Serve alone or topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
See my Apple Rhubarb Crisp Web Story for a quick visual guide to making this recipe.
Ingredients you need
- Apples: You can use sweet or sour apples, depending on your personal preference. You do want to use firm baking apples like Granny Smith or Pink Lady.
- Rhubarb: I have made crisps with both fresh and frozen rhubarb. If using frozen, thaw it first and drain excess water.
- Pantry staples: Granulated sugar, all purpose flour, rolled oats, brown sugar (light or dark), ground cinnamon and salt.
- Lemon: You will use the juice and zest of a lemon. If you only have lemon juice, you can forgo the zest. The lemon juice keeps the apples from browning.
- Cardamom: I love adding cardamom to my crisps. For extra zing, you can substitute with ginger.
- Pecans: Nuts add great crunch and flavor to a crisp. You can also use walnuts, pistachios or almonds.
- Butter: I bake with unsalted butter so I can control the salt in my recipes. If you use salted butter, omit the salt in the recipe.
- Cornstarch: If you have a particularly liquidy filling, use cornstarch instead of flour, or add an extra tablespoon of flour.
1. Peel and core apples, then chop into chunks and place in a large bowl with chopped rhubarb.
2. Stir in sugar, flour (or cornstarch), lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon and cardamom with the apples. Transfer fruit mixture into a 9-inch baking dish.
3. In a small bowl, mix together flour, oatmeal, pecans, sugar, brown sugar and salt. Using your fingers, squeeze butter into the flour mixture until it resembles pebbles.
4. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit and bake at 350ºF until browned and bubbly, about 1 hour.
5. Serve warm or cool to room temperature.
Recipe tips and FAQs
I like to bake my desserts with the minimum amount of sugar – just enough to sweeten the dish, but not so much that the sugar cracks your teeth. If you want a sweeter crisp, add less rhubarb or more sugar.
You can bake your crisp in a large 9-inch casserole dish or divvy up and bake in ramekins to serve in individual portions.
Fresh fruits are preferred over frozen in baking, but you can easily use frozen rhubarb instead of fresh in this crisp. If you do use frozen fruit, be sure to thaw it completely and drain the excess liquid. I also add an extra tablespoon of cornstarch when using frozen fruits.
I don’t recommend freezing a crisp, but the raw crisp topping freezes well. Mix up batches of the buttery topping and freeze them so you can make a crisp whenever the hankering arises.
You typically add lemon juice to cut fruit to keep it from browning, but it also adds a touch of sour to balance your sweet fruit. Consider using orange, blood orange or grapefruit juice if you do not have lemon juice.
- 2 lb apples, like Granny Smith or Pink Lady
- 1 lb chopped rhubarb
- ¼ cup plus 3 TBS granulated sugar
- ½ cup plus 2 TBS all-purpose flour
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ cup old-fashion oatmeal
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 TBS unsalted butter, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Peel and core apples, then chop into chunks and place in a large bowl with chopped rhubarb.
- Stir in 3 TBS granulated sugar, 2 TBS flour, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon and cardamom with the apples.
- Transfer fruit mixture into a 9-inch baking dish.
- In a small bowl, mix together ½ cup flour, oatmeal, pecans, ¼ cup sugar, brown sugar and salt.
- Using your fingers, squeeze butter into the flour mixture until it resembles pebbles.
- Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit and bake until browned and bubbly, about 1 hour.
- Serve warm or cool to room temperature.
Serve alone or top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. You can use fresh or frozen rhubarb. If you do not have cardamom you can add some zing by substituting with ground ginger.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 107mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 7gSugar: 35gProtein: 3g
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