Rhubarb is a vegetable that is usually treated more like a fruit. It's a popular choice for pies, hence its nickname, "pie plant." Raw rhubarb is quite tart, so it's usually cooked and sweetened with sugar or other sweeteners. It's often paired with other sweeter fruits, like strawberries, apples, and bananas, and you'll find it in all kinds of pies, cakes, jams, and preserves.
Rhubarb grows as a perennial in many areas. In areas with mild winters, rhubarb is grown as an annual. Rhubarb grown in the hothouse or mild climates will be a bit milder and paler in color than wild or field rhubarb. If the stalks are more green than red, you might want to add some strawberries to the preparation for more appealing color. Or add a few drops of red food coloring.
When preparing rhubarb, cut off the leaves and discard them. The leaves contain oxalic acid and other toxic substances, so never eat them.
This apple rhubarb crisp dessert is an excellent way to use your rhubarb, and it makes a nice everyday treat for the family. The apples add some texture to the dessert, and the brown sugar oat topping is simply sublime. For some extra crunch and flavor, feel free to add about 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans to the topping mixture.
- 1 pound rhubarb stalks (about 3 cups diced)
- 2 large apples
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon butter (cut into small pieces)
- For the Topping:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed, light or dark)
- 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- Trim the rhubarb and discard the leaves. Cut the stalks into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Peel the apples and core them. Cut the apples into 1/2-inch dice.
- Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking dish.
- Heat oven to 375 F.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon; blend well. Add the diced apple and rhubarb along with the orange juice. Turn the rhubarb and apple mixture into the prepared pan and dot with the butter.
- In another bowl, combine the topping ingredients until well blended and crumbly.
- Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top of the rhubarb and apple mixture.
- Bake the crisp in the preheated oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the topping is browned and fruit is tender and bubbling.
- Refrigerate leftover apple rhubarb crisp for up to 3 days.
- Use a good baking apple in the recipe; one that holds its shape and offers flavor. Some excellent choices: Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Cortland, Honey Crisp, and Cameo.
- Serve this fruit crisp cold or warm with a drizzling of sweet cream, sweetened, freshly whipped cream, or a big scoop of ice cream.