May 22

Rhubarb Crumble Recipe – The first signs of Spring

There must be as many recipes for rhubarb crumble as there are cooks in the world, each with their own twist on this Spring time classic pudding. My rhubarb crumble recipe is no different in that I use port to cook the rhubarb to give more depth of flavor to the dessert. Though the rhubarb crumble itself isn’t anything special in the culinary world and there are plenty of other fruit crumbles, the rhubarb crumble is special because it is the first fruit of the year. When I say fruit, rhubarb technically isn’t a fruit, but a vegetable and is the opposite of how we treat tomatoes.

Rhubarb Crumble Recipe

Rhubarb Crumble Recipe

Though rhubarb is treated like a fruit it does come with the drawback of it’s tartness, which can easily be counted with sugar, but try not to drown it in too much sweetness, because the bright, fresh tartness helps waken up your taste buds. Since May is really the beginning of the rhubarb season I’ve been making rhubarb recipes all month and have even had to adapt my crumble recipe to be gluten free for some friends, but still trying to keep the buttery crumbly crust.

Two Rhubarb Crumble Recipes

Total time:


Stewed Rhubarb Compote

  • 1 lb (450g) of rhubarb
  • 3 oz (85g) of granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp of port or sherry

Standard Crumble Topping

  • 5 oz (140g) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 0.5 tsp of baking powder
  • 0.25 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • a small pinch of salt
  • 2.5 oz (70g) of butter
  • 1.5 oz (45g) light brown sugar

Gluten Free Crumble Topping

  • 2.5 oz (70g) of Rolled Oats, processed to a rough oat flour
  • 2.5 oz (70g) of Rolled Oats or steel cut oats
  • 1.5 oz (45g) of butter
  • 1.5 oz (45g) light brown sugar


  1. Remove the ends of the rhubarb stalks and wash them to remove any dirt.



  2. Chop the rhubarb stalks into 1 inch (2.5 cm) lengths and tip into a pot with the sugar and port. Cover
  3. Heat gently on the stove on a low to medium heat for between 10 and 15 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft, but still holds its shape. Strain the liquid from the stewed rhubarb and return the liquid to the pan. Reduce this liquid down to a thick syrup.

    Reducing the Rhubarb Syrup

    Reducing the Rhubarb Syrup

  4. Tip the rhubarb and the syrup into a suitable baking dish.
  5. For the standard crumble topping mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together in a mixing bowl. Cut the cold butter into the mixture and then start to crumble it together with the flour between your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the sugar and pour it over the rhubarb mixture evenly.
    Rhubarb Crumble Topping

    Rhubarb Crumble Topping

    How to make the gluten free crumble topping, mix together the oats and crumble the chilled butter into them. It will be harder to do than a standard crumble topping as it will tend to clump rather than crumble. When the butter has been incorporated, add the sugar and pour over the rhubarb.

    Gluten Free Rhubarb Crumble Topping

    Gluten Free Rhubarb Crumble Topping

  6. Bake in a 400F (200C) oven until the crumble topping is golden brown. This can take between 40 and 50 minutes
  7. Serve with whipped cream or thick vanilla custard and maybe a small glass of rhubarb liqueur.

    Rhubarb Crumble and Custard

    Rhubarb Crumble and Custard

Once other fruit comes into season you could easily add strawberries to this crumble recipe, though I would probably cut down on the sugar a bit, or later in the summer, apples go very well with rhubarb too.

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