Apple And Rhubarb Desserts


Apple and rhubarb desserts are a great way to use up the last bits of rhubarb in your garden. Here’s a tasty recipe for an apple and rhubarb pie. Dessert is a food category inspired by an evolutionary desire for sweet, which is the sugar and sweet-tasting foods is the primary human (and animal) pleasure. Some desserts contain added sugar; some are made from naturally sugar-rich ingredients such as honey, dried fruits or chocolate. Dessert can also describe a cooked dish served for the end of a meal, usually cold.

A delicate rhubarb and apple pie with homemade pastry

Prep: 30 Minutes – Cook: 40 Minutes – Serves 6 To 8Print recipe

Rhubarb and apples are both in season in autumn, which is lucky – because, when cooked together, they make a particularly flavourful pair. Not convinced? You’ll need to give this delicate rhubarb and apple pie a try to make a fair judgement. This recipe offers a twist on the classic apple pie. 


Cooking oil spray, for greasing

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced

5 stalks rhubarb, trimmed, sliced on the angle

120g brown sugar

Finely grated zest and juice of ó lemon

1 tsp ground cinnamon

225g plain flour

30g cornflour

1½ tsp baking powder

125g caster sugar

140g butter, softened

1 egg

Extra 2 Tbsp brown sugar

Icing sugar, to dust (optional)

Cream or ice-cream, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 170 C. Line base of a 22cm round springform cake tin with baking paper, then lightly grease base and side with oil.
  2. Put apple, rhubarb, brown sugar, lemon zest and juice and 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until fruit is tender and juices have evaporated. Set aside to cool slightly.Step 2   Marina Oliphant
  3. Meanwhile, to make pastry, sift flour, cornflour, baking powder and remaining cinnamon into a large bowl. Add caster sugar and butter and mix by hand until combined. Beat in egg and mix to form a dough.Step 3   Marina Oliphant
  4. Set aside 1/3 of the dough. Using your hands, press remaining dough into prepared tin to line base and about 2cm up side.Step 4   Marina Oliphant
  5. Spread fruit evenly over dough base. Top fruit with free-form pinches of reserved dough, leaving a space in the middle.
  6. Sprinkle pie with extra brown sugar and bake for 30-40 minutes or until light golden. Allow to cool a little before transferring to a serving plate.
  7. Dust lightly with icing sugar, if desired. Serve with cream or ice-cream.


This recipe is taken from the 2013 Milk Calendar. Rhubarb’s tangy flavour and pinky-red colour is wonderful to incorporate into simple desserts like this one. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of honey-sweetened whipped cream.

  • Prep: 15 min – 20 min
  • Cooking: 30 min – 40 min

Yields 6 – 8 Servings


  • 4 cups (1 L) chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb (about 1 lb/500 g)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) diced peeled cooking apples
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) liquid honey
  • Grated zest of 1 orange or lemon
  • Topping
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) butter melted
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) liquid honey
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) orange or lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped toasted walnuts or hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt


Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter a 13 x 9-inch (3 L) glass baking dish.

In prepared baking dish, combine rhubarb, apples, honey and orange zest; spread evenly.

Topping: In a bowl, whisk together egg, milk, butter, honey and orange juice. Without stirring, sprinkle with flour, walnuts, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon just until moistened.

Pour topping evenly over fruit, spreading gently to cover. Bake for 30 to 40 min or until fruit is bubbling, topping is golden and tester inserted in centre of topping comes out clean. Let stand for at least 5 min before serving. Serve hot or warm.


Variations:For a Rhubarb Cobbler, replace apples with an additional 2 cups (500 mL) rhubarb.

For Rhubarb Strawberry Cobbler, replace apples with sliced strawberries.

For the Adventurous: Add 1/4 cup (60 mL) minced crystallized ginger to the rhubarb.

Apple Rhubarb Crisp

Apple rhubarb crisp is an easy dessert that comes together quickly and is delicious on its own or served with a big scoop of ice cream. And since you can use frozen rhubarb in this recipe, you can enjoy it any time of year!

scoop of rhubarb apple crisp in a bowl with two forks and a striped towel behind it

If you can’t get enough rhubarb then this one’s for you—it comes together quickly so you can totally make this spur-of-the-moment in a rhubarb emergency.

Crunchy apples, tart rhubarb, and a buttery crumb topping: for real, what could be better?

Why you’ll love this apple rhubarb crisp:

  • You can use fresh or frozen rhubarb in the filling and enjoy it any time of year
  • It’s so easy to make and the ingredients are all simple kitchen staples
  • This crisp only takes about 15 minutes of prep time—even less if you don’t peel your apples!


You’ll start by making the apple-rhubarb filling

  • Combine the fruit, brown sugar, and a couple other ingredients
  • Stir until the fruit is evenly coated with the sugar
  • Spread into an even layer in a 9-inch baking dish
  • Then you’ll make the topping
  • Combine oats, butter, and a few other ingredients in a food processor
  • Pulse until combined but still chunky
  • Spread the topping evenly over the fruit
  • Bake about half an hour, until the topping is lightly browned

Notes for making your crisp:

  • You’ll need 2 or 3 apples and it’s your choice whether to peel the apples or not.
  • Any good baking apple works in this recipe. I used Pink Lady but Granny Smith and Braeburn are other good choices.
  • You’ll need about 8 ounces of rhubarb
  • I added cinnamon to my filling but if you don’t like cinnamon you can leave it out.
  • Be sure the butter for the topping is cold!
  • I always set fruit crisps, pies, cobblers, etc., on a rimmed baking sheet when I put them in the oven. That way if any juices spill over, they don’t make a mess in the oven. I’ve never had a problem with this crisp bubbling over but I still recommend the baking sheet!


I don’t recommend making your crisp more than a few hours ahead because the topping loses its crunchy, crumbly texture.

It still tastes good, but if you’re looking for a crisp buttery crumb then it’s best to serve your dessert not too long after it’s made.

That said, you can store uneaten rhubarb apple crisp in the fridge, covered, for a couple of days.


Crisps and crumbles are both (typically) made with fresh or frozen fruit and topped with a buttery crumb.

But the topping in fruit crisps is made with oats, whereas a crumble topping is not. The oats get crispy in the oven, hence the name.

Crumble toppings are a more typical streusel, like you might find on top of a muffin or coffee cake.


  • Serve warm or at room temperature
  • Top with vanilla ice cream (or any flavor of ice cream—strawberry is delicious!)
  • Top with whipped cream
  • Add a drizzle of caramel sauce (it pairs naturally with the apples and actually works well with the rhubarb too!)

Apple-Rhubarb Crisp

Servings: 8

Crisps are old-fashioned comfort food. I like them best served warm with a generous pour of fresh cream


For the topping:

  • 4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 3 oz. (2/3 cup packed) brown sugar
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted almonds or walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 oz. (8 Tbs.) butter, slightly softened and cut into small pieces

For the filling:

  • 2 lb. crisp baking apples (I like Gravensteins or Sierra Beauties)
  • 1-1/2 lb. rhubarb
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Nutritional Information


To make the topping

  • In a bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, nuts, and cinnamon. Work in the butter until the mixture resembles dry oats. The mixture should just hold together and look crumbly.

To make the filling

  • Heat the oven to 350° F. Peel, core, and quarter the apples. Cut each quarter into four chunks; you should have about 5 cups. Trim the rhubarb and cut it into 1-inch-long pieces 1/2 inch wide; you should have about 5 cups of rhubarb. In a large bowl, toss the apples and rhubarb with the sugar, flour, and cinnamon until well coated. Transfer the apple and rhubarb mixture to a 2-qt. baking dish and sprinkle the topping over the fruit. Bake until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, 1 hour to 1 hour, 15 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

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