Recipes / Rhubarb Crisp

Rhubarb Crisp

By Mark Bittman

Published July 1, 2024

When you think of rhubarb you probably think of strawberry-rhubarb pie, a quintessential spring dessert, especially if it’s made by someone who makes good pies. I usually manage around one pie crust annually, so I need alternatives. Thus, when the spring’s first rhubarb shows up, I adjust the execution and produce a crisp.

rhubarb crisp
Craig Lee for The New York Times
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If rhubarb is young and fresh, you can trim it in seconds. If it has fibrous outer strings, peel them off as you would those of celery. Toss the rhubarb with orange or lemon juice and zest, and only a little sugar. (You can also substitute strawberries for some of the rhubarb if you want the classic combination.) Blend the ingredients for the crisp topping in a food processor, crumble the topping over the rhubarb mixture, and bake — it is nearly effortless and as good or better than a pie.


Make The Recipe!

Rhubarb Crisp

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  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for greasing pan
  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds rhubarb, trimmed, tough strings removed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 to 6 cups)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup pecans


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking or gratin dish with a little butter. Toss rhubarb with white sugar, orange or lemon juice and zest, and spread in baking dish.
  2. Put the 6 tablespoons butter in a food processor along with brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt, and pulse for about 20 or 30 seconds, until it looks like small peas and just begins to clump together. Add oats and pecans and pulse just a few times to combine.
  3. Crumble the topping over rhubarb and bake until golden and beginning to brown, 45 to 50 minutes.

—Recipe from The New York Times