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Traditional Rhubarb Crumble Recipe

Updated on May 11, 2013
Imogen French profile image

Imogen is from West Dorset, in the UK. She works in publishing and writes mainly about the environment, gardening, and vegetarian food.

Fresh rhubarb
Fresh rhubarb | Source
4.7 stars from 3 ratings of Rhubarb crumble

Rhubarb crumble is a classic English dessert, traditionally served with custard. The tart fruit mixed with the sweet crumbly topping is a treat for the taste buds, and makes the best of a crop that is traditionally grown in England.

While not exactly a fruit, as rhubarb is the stalk of the plant and actually considered to be a vegetable, it is generally sweetened and served as a dessert. The young tender stems picked in early spring are the best, but as long as you keep picking it, rhubarb carries on cropping right through the summer, so rhubarb crumble can be enjoyed for several months of the year.

The recipe below is a simple step by step guide to making a traditional rhubarb crumble.

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in: 55 min
Yields: Approx. 4 servings
chopped rhubarb
chopped rhubarb | Source


  • 1 1/2 lbs (700 g) fresh rhubarb
  • 4 oz (115 g) soft brown sugar
  • 6 oz (170 g) plain white flour
  • 3 oz (85 g) butter
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  1. Wash the rhubarb, and chop into roughly 1 inch pieces. Grease a deep ovenproof dish with a little butter, and put the rhubarb in with half of the sugar, mixing it around a bit so that all of the rhubarb is coated in sugar.
  2. Into a mixing bowl, sift the flour, add the rest of the sugar, the mixed spice and the butter chopped into little pieces. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar with your fingertips until you have a fine crumbly texture, a bit like if you were making pastry. Pour the crumble mixture evenly over the rhubarb in the ovenproof dish, and pat down a little, so there are no gaps.
  3. Bake in a medium oven (about 180 deg C) for around 35-40 minutes, or until the top of the crumble has turned golden brown.
rhubarb crumble with custard
rhubarb crumble with custard | Source

Serve the crumble hot with freshly made custard, cream or ice cream. It can also be enjoyed chilled on a hot summer's day, and it is delicious served with a creamy greek style yogurt.

If you enjoy experimenting with different flavours try varying this dessert by adding a little freshly grated ginger, some orange zest, or another fruit such as raspberries or apples to the rhubarb.

If you find the rhubarb too sharp, just try adding a little extra sugar or some honey to the rhubarb before putting on the crumble topping. Early rhubarb tends to be a sweeter and more tender than that cropped later in the season, and some people have more of a sweet tooth than others, so you may need to make adjustments accordingly.


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    • Imogen French profile image

      Imogen French 3 years ago from Southwest England

      Thanks, chef-de-jour. I love the image "the rhubarb triangle" conjures up! It is a great fruit (or vegetable?).

    • chef-de-jour profile image

      Andrew Spacey 3 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

      Lovely recipe. We live in the rhubarb triangle area of west Yorkshire so are regular consumers of this unusual fruit. Rhubarb in a crumble is perfect - topped with rich custard a dream dessert.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Yummy! My mouth is watering now. It is ages ago that I have eaten my last rhubarb cake. Thanks for reminding me and for sharing this recipe. Have a nice day!

    • Imogen French profile image

      Imogen French 4 years ago from Southwest England

      Hi travmaj, glad you enjoyed the recipe. Hope you are successful growing rhubarb in Australia.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      My mouth is watering - I grew up in England and this was always on the menu at home...

      Rhubarb is available here but not popular -I shall have to assert myself.

      Thanks for the memories -

      I'm definitely going to grow rhubarb and cook it regularly -