Rhubarb crumble pie


Rhubarb remains one of the truly seasonal produce items, only available in the spring. We're now at the tail end of the rhubarb season, so I'm trying to enjoy it as much as possible. Rhubarb has a distinctive tart flavor that is really wonderful, and quite different from any "fruit". (Of course, the edible part of the rhubarb is technically not a fruit, since it's the stalk, but it's treated as a fruit in culinaric terms.)

There are two ways that I cook rhubarb, but this is my favorite. It is so easy to make, and makes a wonderful crisp or crumble pie, with a crunchy topping and a just-sweet-enough, syrupy rhubarb compote-like mixture underneath it. If you choose stalks that are pinkish, it will look quite pretty too, as the one in the picture turned out to be.

You can serve this on its own, or with vanilla ice cream. It 's a wonderful springtime dessert that even people lacking a sweet tooth love.

Rhubarb Crumble Pie

  • About 1kg /2 lb of rhubarb stalks, enough to make about 4-5 cups of cut up rhubarb
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of raw or light brown sugar
  • 125g / 4 oz. butter
  • 3/4 cup of white flour

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.

Wash and cut up the rhubarb stalks into approximately 2cm / 1 inch pieces. Be careful to cut off any leaf parts - they are poisonous.

Melt the butter, and add the flour and sugar. Mix to make a rather crumbly mixture.

Put the rhubarb in a pie dish. Cover with the crumble mixture. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the crumble is browned and crispy.

This is best at room temperature, or chilled a bit.

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Rhubarb crumble pie

That looks delicious. I've always loved strawberry and rhubarb pie, but unadulterated rhubarb sounds even better.

yoko | 14 May, 2004 - 18:50

Rhubarb crumble pie

i just made one of these last weekend, but yours looks much prettier! my stalks weren't quite as pink, more greenish. it still tasted delicious, though.

i like to add some ground almonds or hazelnuts to the crumble topping, and maybe some oats as well for texture. if there is a bit of muesli in the cupboard i add a handful of that, too. because of this i can eat any leftovers for breakfast the next day with a clear conscience!!!

kitschenette | 15 May, 2004 - 00:40

Rhubarb crumble pie

This is one of my favorite things to make. My version has walnuts in the crumble. Also, I use apples instead of rhubarb, and add cinnamon.

Gee, I guess it's not the same thing afterall.

mark | 18 May, 2004 - 18:41

Rhubarb crumble pie

We used to have a giant rhubarb growing out in our yard when I was a kid, and besides just eating stalks of it (dipped in sugar if you were too wimpy to take the sheer tartness), we made lots of crumbles, pies, and cobblers. Living in Pacific Northwestern America, we of course had blackberries everywhere, and so I've always personally thought of blackberry-rhubarb as a more natural combination than strawberry-rhubarb... well worth a try if you ever happen to have both available. If you're worried about not having both at the same time of year, I do happen to know that rhubarb freezes very well, and when thawed out cooks just as well as fresh.

BoldD | 18 May, 2004 - 22:31

Rhubarb crumble pie

BoldD, here blackberries come later than rhubarb, so I've never had a chance to combine them...sounds delicious though!

Yoko, I tried sticking a few strawberries into the crumble I made I couple of nights ago, and it turned out great!

maki | 19 May, 2004 - 10:56

Rhubarb crumble pie

can i use frozen rhubarb?

j | 25 August, 2004 - 09:22

Rhubarb crumble pie

You sure can use frozen rhubarb. Just put the frozen pieces in directly without defrosting. It may come out a bit mushy but should taste great.

maki | 25 August, 2004 - 10:22

Rhubarb crumble pie

I've been holding off making rhubarb recipes until I knew rhubarb to be in season here in Australia, which I thought to be late Winter/early Spring - but I just found out that rhubarb isn't a seasonal item here. It's available all year round, due to the large climatic differences around our big country. Yay for all-year rhubarb!!

Niki | 16 June, 2005 - 05:23

Rhubarb crumble pie

Just so FAB and EASY really like the way you dont have to use saucepan, just melt butter in micro and add the rest of ingredients.So easy even a man could do it (honestly im a guy!!!!)

chris j | 11 September, 2005 - 10:24

Rhubarb crumble pie

I adore rhubarb crumble, it reminds me of baking with my mum when I was a child. Yummy!

Pamela | 13 April, 2006 - 08:52

Rhubarb crumble pie

Tried this today and it was wonderful! A walk down memory lane...

Ellie | 8 May, 2006 - 02:51

Rhubarb crumble pie

Do you add the brown and white sugar to the crumble mix or some to the rhubarb?

Debbie | 28 May, 2006 - 20:46

Rhubarb crumble pie

Debbie you don't need to add any sugar to the rhubarb. All the sugar goes into the crumble mix, which somehow mysteriously sweetens the whole thing.

maki | 29 May, 2006 - 00:36

Rhubarb crumble pie

Dear Maki,

I'm so happy that you're using the real English recipe instead of the one I keep finding on American websites, which uses oats in the topping (I'm a displaced Brit that grew up all over the world, but I want my British recipes authentic, not changed and called Rhubarb Crumble!!).

Caroline | 29 August, 2006 - 05:31

Rhubarb crumble pie

Hi Caroline,

Actually I think I read the original recipe (or something very similar) in an American magazine or newspaper. But I do agree, that oatmeal does not belong in a crumble crust. Pure sugar, butter and a bit of flour!

maki | 29 August, 2006 - 22:08

This is what got my Japanese husband fat when he came to the UK!

Your recipe is pretty much exactly how I do this (or seems to be - I never measure). Peach crumbles and rhubarb crumbles are probably the main culprits for my husband’s weight gain after moving to England.

Sooo good though! Especially with fresh double cream.

Loretta | 21 January, 2008 - 21:00

this is great

I made this last night for the gf. She loved it! It was so easy too. And I agree with others about the no oatmeal rule. Thanks for posting it!

Mark | 26 January, 2008 - 21:43


can i just use white sugar, as i want to make rhubarb crumble for my boyfriend but he does not like brown sugar and i do not have any. and do i just put the same weight in as the white sugar says or do i add the amount of the brown sugar aswell.

clare | 27 May, 2008 - 17:27

White sugar will be fine -

White sugar will be fine - you can put in the same amount. It will get a bit caramelized in the cooking process.

maki | 27 May, 2008 - 20:32


I’m preparing to make this now. When you say “mix” to make the mixture, do you mean with an electric mixer? Otherwise the rhubarb pieces seem really hard.

Sorry for the elementary question…

Steph | 9 June, 2008 - 21:23

It’s mixed until it forms

It’s mixed until it forms a sort of rough paste. I know the raw rhubarb pieces (which aren’t mixed into the crumble mixture) do look rather hard before cooking, but they really soften up, and get sweetened by the crumble on top!

maki | 10 June, 2008 - 17:09

Thank you for sharing this

Thank you for sharing this recipe. I am going to try it soon.

Our rhubarb season in the United States is now, and if I am really lucky I can get three cutting of 18 cups if I keep the children out of it. I can’t blame them though. I used to sit in my mom’s garden, sneak some sugar, and pull it up and eat it-delicious!

tina-us | 23 June, 2008 - 05:59

British Favourite - Rhubarb Crumble

We Brits love our rhubarb crumble (sorry but we don’t ever use the word pie for deserts). We eat it a little differently although cooked exactly the same way you mentioned above.

Try it warm with hot custard all over, full of calories but tastes amazing. You’ll love it!

Susanne | 6 July, 2008 - 21:59

british comment


I am British (but in america) and i would certainly use the word pie for a dessert if it was a pie (to me this means something covered with pastry but i am sure there are variations).

I definitely agree with the custard suggestion, though - to me it is essential for a crumble, pie or pudding-based dessert. I have imported some instant stuff because i haven’t been able to find it in the US. (I’m sure it’s better if you make it from scratch but I’ll leave that for another day.)

Thanks for the recipe - will go and try it out now!

Dave | 3 August, 2008 - 00:55


can i make the pie and then freeze it for later use?

aussie jeremy | 31 October, 2008 - 01:20

Re: freezing

I ask the same question as above

JULIE DAVIS | 26 April, 2012 - 08:44


I am steudent plant sistematic on level Ms.
I need anatomy rhubarb plant.
pleaes hellp me.
I can work for you in iran.

Bahram Baradaran | 31 December, 2008 - 17:22

Re: Rhubarb crumble pie

Try putting a drained can of mandarin oranges in with the rhubarb plus a couple spoons of the 'juice'; then sprinkle lightly with ground ginger bfore putting the cruble on - it lifts a great desert to new heights.


Dave Coe | 22 February, 2009 - 07:11

Re: Rhubarb crumble pie

As a Brit I was quite surprised to see the suggestion that "This is best at room temperature, or chilled a bit". To me, crumble is a hot pudding; fine eaten cold the next day if there's some leftover (which there rarely is!!) but at its best as a warm pudding served with custard. Mmmmmm.

Saskia M | 31 May, 2010 - 12:29

Re: Rhubarb crumble pie

Best way to have rhubarb crumble - bar none - is piping hot with a serving of vanilla ice-cream on top. Custard and cream are lovely but the hot-cold combo of crumble and icecream with the tartness of the rhubarb and the sweetness of the icecream ... it can't be beaten.

Katy | 5 February, 2011 - 20:16

Re: Rhubarb crumble pie

I definitely agree with the ice cream on top of the crumble - can't be beaten. I also love the fact that I can just walk down the garden and cut my own. What a brilliant plant to grow - and so easy! Also, if you add a little lemon juice to the rhubarb as you cook it, it helps to retain the colour. I add a little cinnamom to my crumble too, as well as ginger. I also have to say, I'm amazed the comments are still coming.... the first was in 2004! rhubarb is obviously a topical subject! LB

LB | 21 April, 2011 - 00:50

Re: Rhubarb crumble pie

This is divine! I made it with frozen rhubarb and frozen strawberries, let it go a little longer and then let it sit in the oven with the heat off. The rhubarb became creamy and the liquid was a beautiful red and so creamy too. This with ice cream would be just too much!

Jen Das | 27 May, 2011 - 19:17

Re: Rhubarb crumble pie

Has anyone tried this with Splenda instead of sugar? Any suggestions? My mother in law loves rhubarb and she is diebetic. Would love to make this desert. She'll go nuts if it works with Splenda!


Gary Le Blanc | 22 June, 2011 - 16:37

Re: Rhubarb crumble

Lovely looking crumble pic there. My dear old Ma has just turned up with a stonking great pyrex dish full of lovely rhubarb crumble for me n the girls - that's what prompted my web search & finding this nice page.

P.S. Pie has a pastry base or top & crumble just has to be served hot with a nice thick custard - home-made custard is best, but 'birds' works in a pinch. I could possibly go for some with ice-cream or double cream but custard is a family fave.

zar | 16 August, 2011 - 20:17

I love different types of

I love different types of pies and I am so happy to see the post on Rhubarb crumble pie. It looks really crunchy on the outside and I am glad that you shared the recipe too. I would love to try this at home. I am sure it will taste great. Thanks a lot for sharing.

visit here | 21 February, 2014 - 12:23

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