Simply Tart Rhubarb Apple Crisp {Recipe Redux}

rhubarb apple crisp

You’d never know it based on the mercury bursting out the top of our hypothetical old-timey thermometer, but fall is approaching. Soon we’ll be donning wool clothing and making non-ironic pumpkin recipes. I can’t wait. These 100+ degree temperatures have been wearing away at me faster than a hot dessert over ice cream.

Speaking of.


This month’s Recipe ReDux theme had me heading straight for the kitchen with an idea for a hot dessert of my own.

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday/vacation season, August is the time many families get ‘back to routine.’ Show us your favorite recipe to help families get ‘back to the dinner table.’ It might be a favorite family recipe from your childhood that you’ve ReDuxed; or maybe it’s your family’s current favorite. Let’s all gather back at the table!


Peter and I often make fruit desserts in the summer, and one of our favorites is a fruit crisp. While we usually agree on the fruit filling, our interests diverge when it comes to the topping. Peter prefers a butter-filled crumb topping akin to the top layer of a coffee cake while I enjoy a lighter, crunchier topping packed with oats. How do we decide which topping to make? When I make a fruit crisp, I use a crumb topping. When Peter makes one, he uses a crunchy oat topping.

This is marriage, dear reader.


For this recipe, I decided to combine our two loves into a crunchy oat topping with a hint of butter and crumb.

rhubarb apple crisp

Why rhubarb and apple? Unlike the rhubarb strawberry crisp I made a year ago, this crisp contains the perfect marriage of summer-y rhubarb and the quintessential fall apple. (Was that metaphor heavy enough for you?) Light on sugar and heavy on whole grains, this healthy dessert will have you wondering if your life began with the first bite.*

*Results may vary. A bite may cause a reaction ranging from an exclamation of “by golly gee!” to spontaneous bursting into a top ten show tunes song. I can write anything I want here because no one ever reads the fine print anyway. Educate, folks!



If you’re worried there’s not enough sugar in the recipe, don’t be! Remember The Rhubarb Meter?

chartz the second

This recipe is designed to show off the wonderful flavors of rhubarb and apple without being cloyingly sweet. Give it a try, and I’ll bet you won’t miss a single pinch of sugar. Besides, if you serve this dessert with a little vanilla ice cream, isn’t that all the sweetness you need?

rhubarb apple crisp

[bctt tweet=”Summer-meets-fall with this simply tart rhubarb apple crisp #thereciperedux #healthyrecipes”]

Simply Tart Rhubarb Apple Crisp

  Prep Time: 15 minutes

  Cook Time: 45 minutes


Ingredients (Serves 16)

  • 2 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced
  • 3 cups tart apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine rhubarb and apples. Sprinkle sugar and cornstarch over the top and mix. Spoon mixture into a 9-inch by 9-inch baking pan. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Drizzle butter over all and combine. Sprinkle over fruit. If more texture is desired, chill topping for 15 minutes, then use fingers to form grape-sized balls of topping. Scatter over the top.

Bake for 45 minutes or until topping is crisp and fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.

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P.S. Check out the other awesome Recipe ReDux creations here!

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  1. What a clever combo – bringing summer and fall together and all! 🙂

    I like that you are not using a lot of sugar. Most rhubarb dishes are too sweet for my taste…

  2. “When I make a fruit crisp, I use a crumb topping. When Peter makes one, he uses a crunchy oat topping.”

    I seriously awwwwwed at this! 🙂

    Living in the UK means rhubarb is everywhere. I have only ever had it dried though (dried rhubarb as in dried figs), and liked the tart/sweet combo. Reading a comment about rhubarb from the strawberry post, I remembered that during some war or other between the two, the Chinese threatened to stop exporting rhubarb to the UK so that they would all die of constipation. So there you have it.

    I am pretty sure this recipe would be called a crumble on this side of the Atlantic. Looks simple and quick enough, I will give it a try and let you know if I missed the sugar (probably not).

    Keep well Jess! 🙂

    1. I always learn something new from you, Christa! I didn’t know that about rhubarb exports in China, and I’ve never tried dried rhubarb. I’m not even sure I’ve ever seen it!

  3. I love desserts that aren’t cloyingly sweet. This crisp looks divine Jessie!

    And you and Peter truly know how to compromise. Although, if I’m being honest, I would take any kind of apple crisp my husband could produce, if only he knew where the kitchen is.

    Hope your weekend is going well!

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