As I sit here writing this post, I’m enjoying a slice of the rhubarb crisp. This is probably some of the best rhubarb I’ve ever eaten. I found my local supplier by typing “rhubarb” into the local newspaper classified ad section. As a technology junky, I never thought about local households posting their garden excesses in the newspaper. When I found this out, I was too excited. Less than a mile away we found a family that prides themselves on growing rhubarb. They have a lovely house and a small household garden and they have rhubarb! The rhubarb that they grow comes from Maine and has been in the family for many decades. It’s an older plant that brings with it an incredible flavor. There’s a flora essence to the naturally tart rhubarb that makes it absolutely divine. Luckily rhubarb grows all summer in the mountains, so I’ll be able to get more rhubarb as it becomes available. I’m delighted. It is so delicious and tasty.
If you haven’t cooked a lot with rhubarb, it can be a rather intimidating ingredient I think. First of all, if you have access to a Cuisinart food processor, save yourself a lot of headache and use the slicer attachment to slice your rhubarb quickly and efficiently. Secondly, did you hear that if you eat the leaves of rhubarb you could be poisoned and die? My wild imagination as a kid extrapolated to thinking I would die if I ever touched the leaf part of a rhubarb, so I was always afraid to even touch the stuff. I was a weirdo. Since then, I’ve learned that the main poison in rhubarb is oxalic acid. Just now, I found out looking on Wikipedia that many plants have oxalic acid. It’s just that the rhubarb leaves are so very high in oxalic acid, but don’t let this deter you from enjoying rhubarb. You won’t die by touching the plant.
The rhubarb tart recipe I am sharing with you comes from my grandma. I didn’t often get rhubarb growing up, because it was hard to find in the grocery store. My mom never had a garden, so we had to rely on the grocery store for our produce. However, when we traveled from Indiana to Nebraska, Grandma thankfully always had some rhubarb in her freezer.
Tips & Tricks
Rhubarb freezes wonderfully and can be used later during the long winter months in a pie, tart, or as jam. Freezing rhubarb is the simplest way to keep the fruit ready to use when you need it for later. In the freezer, the rhubarb will last 6 to 12 months if packaged appropriately. Wash the rhubarb and trim off the ends as you normally would. Slice the stalks a little thicker than normally, about 1/2-inch pieces. If you plan to keep the rhubarb in the freezer for more than 6 months, you may want to blanch the rhubarb in boiling water for 1 minute so it will keep its color. Remember when blanching to immediately cool the fruit in ice water to stop it from cooking longer than one minute. I won’t even recommend freezing the rhubarb in Ziploc bags, because of the fear of freezer burn. Use a vacuum food sealer and save yourself the worry of having to deal with freezer burns. To use frozen rhubarb, just set them in the fridge overnight, or on the counter for a few hours.
Off to get myself another slice of rhubarb tart! I hope you enjoy this recipe.
- 4 cups rhubarb, thinly sliced (about 2 pounds)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 to 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wash and thinly slice the rhubarb. Place the rhubarb in a 9 x 9 inch square pan.
- Mix the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon together until crumbly. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, combine the granulate sugar, water, cornstarch, and vanilla. Bring to boil over medium high heat, whisking constant. Boil for a minute or two until the cornstarch congeals and the sauce is thick.
- Pour the sauce over the rhubarb.
- Cover the rhubarb with the crumble topping.
- Place the crisp on a parchment-lined baking sheet to catch any spills, and bake in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.
- Remove the crisp from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Serve with ice cream.
- Thanks Grandma! I like my rhubarb tart, like Warheads tart, so I only use 1/2 cup of sugar when making my syrup filling. I understand that this may be too tart for some people, so you can add up to 1 cup of sugar. If you are unsure, start with 3/4 cup of sugar.
Thanks for this recipe, Naomi! I always loved rhubarb, especially as a kid picking it out of our friend’s garden in Omaha. We’ll give this a try this summer!
Awesome. It’s a great Nebraska recipe for sure. Grandma had it published in the Bruno cookbook years ago. I’ve updated the recipe a little by adjusting the sugar and replacing the vanilla extract with real seeds from a vanilla bean. No matter, the recipe is delicious and always enjoyable.