Whether you have an allergy, or you just think oatmeal is for breakfast, sometimes you want a rhubarb crisp without oats in it! Well, here you go!

It’s spring and that means it’s rhubarb season! I went out to my garden this morning and it was fairly bursting with rhubarb. I just HAD to pick some and make all my favorite spring things. So today, rhubarb crisp!

I love rhubarb because it’s tart like raspberries. I think sometimes desserts can be too sweet, so I love to have that pucker factor that pairs perfectly with the sweet for the most complex and delicious dessert!

rhubarb plants

When is rhubarb season?

I live in Northeast Ohio, so our rhubarb season is in full swing once the end of April hits, and goes through about June. It’s a sweet season to make all the old fashioned favorites. While you can get rhubarb at other times of the year, I always believe that eating in season tastes best!

If you don’t grow rhubarb, it’s so easy to find at the store, or farmer’s market. Oftentimes many people have friends who are bursting at the seams with rhubarb. As soon as you pick it, the stuff regrows for you to pick it all over again a week later! It’s sort of like the zucchini of spring.

How to make rhubarb crisp without oats

I normally make a standard rhubarb crisp, but I wanted to develop a rhubarb crisp without oats for those with sensitivities, or for those who just don’t like oats. This version uses a topping that is basically like what you would find on a dutch apple pie.

It’s super easy to put together, so it’s great to make when you don’t have a lot of time to be in the kitchen. You can even prep it in advance – directions are in the FAQs.

Prep the rhubarb:

I started by picking a ton of rhubarb! You won’t need as much as I have here. For this recipe, I used 3 pounds, or about 9 heaping cups diced. I probably have at least twice that in my sink in this picture.

freshly washed rhubarb

If you’re picking rhubarb, pull firmly on the lower part of the stalk to remove it from the ground. Alternately, you can cut the stem at the bottom with a sharp knife.

Don’t take too much of the plant! Make sure to leave at least 1/3 of the overall plant remaining. If you harvest all of it, the plant won’t have any leaves left, so there’s no way to photosynthesize and grow.

Remove the leaves and immediately discard, because they are poisonous. Wash it well and trim off the ends. As it gets closer to the end of the season, sometimes there can be imperfections in the stalks. I just cut those out with my knife and use everything else.

Then dice it into roughly 1/2″ chunks. Put the rhubarb in a 12″ cast iron skillet and toss it with the flour and sugar. I linked the one I use and it is amazing!

Prep the topping:

Mix the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Add room temperature butter and work it with your hands until it is incorporated and you have pea sized chunks.

When you top the rhubarb, you’ll want to squeeze the topping a bit to make bigger clusters for the top.

rhubarb crisp in cast iron pan

Bake the rhubarb crisp without oats:

I bake the rhubarb crisp without oats for about 50 min to an hour. You’ll want to leave it in the oven until the sides are bubbling and the top is beautifully golden brown. If you take it out too soon, it will have a floury taste that isn’t too yummy.

rhubarb crisp without oats

Allow it to set up:

Let it cool for about 15 min. to allow the juices on the inside to firm up a little bit. If you serve it immediately, it is really runny. So be patient! Or you can do what I did and immediately take a bite! Whoops!

bite of rhubarb crisp

Serve with ice cream:

Dig in! Can you eat this plain? Probably. Would you want to? No way! My absolute favorite ice cream for this is from Costco. It’s their super premium vanilla ice cream. It only has about 6 ingredients and it is the best custardy ice cream I’ve ever had!

My dad urged me to try it at his house and I fell in love. I about choked when I saw the price for two half gallons, but it’s so rich that I don’t feel like we eat as much as we would with a serving of other ice cream. Maybe it’s the egg yolks in it that make it so rich and filling!

rhubarb crisp without oats

Do I need a 12″ skillet?

Nope! I love how it looks in a skillet, but you can just as easily use a 9×13″ baking dish. The surface area is almost exactly the same as the large skillet, so it would be perfect.

As a side note, I would not recommend using a smaller skillet. This has quite a bit of rhubarb in it, so if you pile it up by putting it into a smaller skillet, it may not cook all the way through.

How do I make the dessert less tart?

I like to use 100% rhubarb because I have so much of it on hand, so it makes it practically free! However, it does make for a tart dessert. I probably would not eat this without ice cream for that very reason. However, lots of people love the combination of flavors when you mix rhubarb and strawberries together. It really is delicious!

If you want to mix the two, just use 5 cups of diced rhubarb and 4 cups of large chunked strawberries. You’ll want them to be the same size as the rhubarb. The strawberries add a delicious sweetness and a beautiful red color to this crisp!

Lastly, you can add more sugar to the interior. Instead of tossing the rhubarb with 1/2c of brown sugar, you can easily up that to 2/3c or 3/4c if you like a sweeter dessert.

Can I put other things in the topping?

Absolutely! If you want to back down on the flour by 1/2c, you can replace that with nuts (like pecans or walnuts) or coconut. Either of those would be a great addition to the dish! I would even put up to 1 cup in even though you’ve only removed 1/2c of dry ingredients. I think it would still maintain the right consistency of the topping. If you try that, let me know! I’d love to hear how it goes.

Can I make this in advance?

Absolutely! You can do that a few ways. It holds up really well and can just be reheated in the oven if you want to bake it in advance.

Alternately, you can make the crumble topping and store it in the freezer. Chop the rhubarb and store it in the fridge. Combine the sugar and flour for mixing with the rhubarb and just keep that in a baggie.

When you’re ready to bake it, toss the diced rhubarb with the sugar/flour mixture and place it in the 12″ skillet. Then top it with the crumb topping from the freezer and toss it in the oven. So easy!

Can I use frozen rhubarb?

Sure! You can just put the frozen rhubarb directly into the dish without thawing it. Toss it with the flour and sugar and then top with the crumb topping. Because it’s frozen, you may need to bake it a little bit longer.

If you make this rhubarb crisp without oats, I’d love to hear what you think of it!

Rhubarb Crisp without Oats

Whether you have an allergy, or you just think oatmeal is for breakfast, sometimes you want a rhubarb crisp without oats in it! Well, here you go!
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

Filling

  • 9 cups (3 lbs.) rhubarb, diced in 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tablespoons flour

Topping

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch salt

Instructions
 

  • Wash the rhubarb well and trim off the ends. As it gets closer to the end of the season, sometimes there can be imperfections in the stalks. I just cut those out with my knife and use everything else.
    Then dice it into roughly 1/2" chunks. Put the rhubarb in a 12" cast iron skillet and toss it with the flour and sugar. I linked the one I use and it is amazing!
  • Mix the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Add room temperature butter and work it with your hands until it is incorporated and you have pea sized chunks. 
    When you top the rhubarb, you'll want to squeeze the topping a bit to make bigger clusters for the top.
  • Bake the rhubarb crisp without oats for about 50 min to an hour. You'll want to leave it in the oven until the sides are bubbling and the top is beautifully golden brown. If you take it out too soon, it will have a floury taste that isn't too yummy.
  • Let it cool for about 15 min. to allow the juices on the inside to firm up a little bit. If you serve it immediately, it is really runny. So be patient! 
  • Dig in! Can you eat this plain? Probably. Would you want to? No way! My absolute favorite ice cream for this is from Costco. It's their super premium vanilla ice cream. It only has about 6 ingredients and it is the best custardy ice cream I've ever had!
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rhubarb crisp without oats

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