I have a love/hate relationship with rhubarb. I love that it’s the first thing up in my garden each Spring. I hate that there’s so much of it all at once. I love all the wonderful things I can make with it. But I hate that I have bags of it in my freezer for months, begging to be made into something (while I’ve moved on to the other fruits that come along).
In my neck of the woods (Muskoka, in central Ontario), the rhubarb is ready for harvest right in the height of blackfly season. If you don’t have blackflies where you are, count your blessings. They’re a nasty little bug that swarm around your head and get in your hair and can take a big chunk out of you that itches for days. So when it comes time to harvest the rhubarb, Mr. S & S will don the bug hat and jacket and venture out, knife and bag in hand. And when he returns with an overflowing bag of fresh rhubarb, I’m thankful for both the first produce of Spring and for the brave effort that went into getting it :)
Whether you call them “Crisps” or “Crumbles”, this is a classic rhubarb dessert. I love the addition of pecans, for a little crunch, but it would also be great with almonds or walnuts (or leave out the nuts altogether).
Rhubarb Oat and Pecan Crisp
Summary: This is a classic rhubarb crisp with a crunchy addition of pecans. You can substitute walnuts or almonds or leave them out all together. A great way to use your Spring rhubarb.
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature for greasing baking dish
- For the topping:
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned, large flake rolled oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (can substitute walnuts or even almonds)
- 1/2 tsp. table salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- For the filling:
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 3 1/2 lbs. rhubarb, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 10 cups)
- 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375° F. and butter a 3-quart baking dish.
- Spread the pecans evenly on a baking sheet and pop into the pre-heated oven for 3-4 minutes, stirring once. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn. They should just be toasted until fragrant. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
- Make the topping by combining the flour, oats, brown sugar, pecans and salt in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and mix together, pressing with the back of the spoon to form small clumps. Put the topping in the freezer while you prepare the rhubarb.
- For the filling, mix the sugar and cornstarch together in a large bowl, then add the rhubarb and vanilla and toss well until evenly coated.
- Place the rhubarb filling into the prepared pan and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 45 minutes or until the topping is golden and the filling bubble up through the topping.
- Let cool for 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 45 min
Total time: 1 hour 5 min
Number of servings (yield): 8