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Apple-Rhubarb Crisp


by Kara Parnell

I've always been fascinated by this gorgeous, ruby-streaked, perennial fruit, that as a faithful friend, keeps coming back year after year. My mother in law has a beautiful, well-established rhubarb patch near the road in her garden, that's been going strong for 30 years. When I was newly married and visiting her home, she would often make a rhubarb pie for dessert. Sitting there with that bubbling hot slice of homemade perfection on a plate in front of me, I longed for the day when I would progress past my current baking skill level of pancakes from a mix, and make something as beautiful and delicious as my mother-in-law’s rhubarb pie. Years later, thankfully, I've moved past the initial intimidation that I associated with cooking with rhubarb and have learned that anyone can use this versatile and delicious fruit to make something wonderful for their family. And, bonus points for this fantastic fruit, not only is rhubarb easy to transform into delicious desserts, but it's loaded with vitamins and nutrients. Rhubarb is high in fibre, packed full of bone-strengthening vitamin K, and full of beneficial antioxidants. 

Rhubarb pie is wonderful, but for a similarly comforting, homey dessert that you can make in a fraction of the time, try this recipe for our scrumptious Apple-Rhubarb Crisp. In no time, the tempting smells of cinnamon, apples and rhubarb will fill your home. This dessert is so delicious, that you just might want to start your own patch of rhubarb near the road in your garden. 

Sources: Nutritional information found on, May 2019, "Food is Medicine".

Photo credit, Jennifer Causey, Cooking Light

Servings: 6-8

Prep time: 00:25

Cook time: 00:35


  • 1/2 C. melted butter
  • 1 C. plain flour
  • 3/4 C. brown sugar, (or coconut sugar), divided
  • 1/2 C. pure maple syrup
  • 1 C. rolled oats
  • 1/2 C. chopped pecans
  • 8 apples, (combination of sweet and tart apples)
  • 2 rhubarb stalks, (note: only cook with the stalks, the leaves are poisonous)
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T. lemon zest


  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. or 350 degrees F.
  2. Make the crumb topping by combining melted butter, flour, 1/2 C. of brown sugar, maple syrup, oats, and pecans in a small bowl. Use a fork to bring all ingredients together, until butter is incorporated, and resembles loose crumbs. Set aside.
  3. Peel and core apples, and slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Chop the rhubarb into similarly thick pieces, so the apples and rhubarb will cook at the same rate. Toss apples and rhubarb pieces in a medium bowl with the remaining 1/4 C. of brown or coconut sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest.
  4. Place apple-rhubarb mixture in an 8x8 baking dish and top with the crumb topping
  5. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes, or until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling up the sides of the dish.

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