Cutting Rhubarb

Rhubarb-Peach Crumble Pie

Yield: 6 to 8  |  Total time: 1 hour 10 min
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I recently came across a short story that I started years ago, with the title "Cutting Aspen"....It's a strange compilation of characters in Colorado who are all searching for love but often find themselves cooking for one another when faced with the choice of another disastrous relationship. It's a story I probably won't go back to in the same way.  I'm happier now and instead of fictional characters cutting aspen, I have been cutting (or twisting) real stalks of gorgeous rhubarb and figuring out ways to share it with my friends and neighbors.  Especially my next-door neighbors who kindly let me cut their stalks, often in exchange for some rhubarb confections.

Growing up in the South, I never had the joy of cutting stalks of rhubarb, a true seasonal delight.  Instead, we would chew on sugar cane for hours, sucking out the lovely sweet juices.  Although the rhubarb's jewel-toned stalks are inviting, it takes only one mouth-puckering crunch to learn that they yield nothing similar to that sweet high from cane.   But cooked, stewed, roasted, or baked rhubarb is one of my favorite early summer ingredients.

Some ways to enjoy cooked rhubarb: stir into yogurt; toast country bread slices and spread with fresh ricotta and top with rhubarb; make a thyme and rhubarb simple syrup for prosecco cocktails or stir into sparkling water.  Do you have a favorite rhubarb recipe to share?

While I was trying to make up my mind between making a pie or a crumble for my neighbors (one wanted pie and another something "cobbler-esque"), I came across a perfect combination: A Rhubarb Crumble Pie from The Kitchn.  It's one way to satisfy those who love crust and others who prefer the crisp topping of a crumble.  This is inspired by their genius recipe, although I did add peaches, vanilla, and orange to the rhubarb mix and also replaced flour in the topping with oats.  I've since made this several times--sometimes without the crust.  Serve with chilled buttermilk, crème fraîche, or good old-fashioned vanilla ice cream.


    • 1 (9-inch) prepared pie crust
    • 1/2 cup ground almonds or Bob's Red Mill almond meal
    • 1/4 cup rolled oats, preferably Bob's Red Mill
    • 1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon (fine grain) salt
    • 4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
    • 4 cups fresh rhubarb cubes (about 1/2-inch pieces)
    • 2 cups chopped peaches or nectarines
    • 3/4 cups granulated sugar (a little less if using very ripe sweet peaches)
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon orange zest
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot


    1. Roll the prepared pie dough into a 13-inch circle.  Carefully transfer the dough to the pie plate. Tuck the dough into the bottom and sides of the plate.  Trim the dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang all around.  Tuck this overhang/dough under itself and crimp the edges to seal.  Chill the pie shell in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

    2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the almond meal, oats, brown sugar, and salt together to combine. Cut butter into dough using a pastry blender or your fingers until the ingredients are well-combined and large-ish clumps form.  Chill in refrigerator.
    3. Preheat oven to 375°. 
    4. In a large bowl, combine rhubarb, peaches, and remaining ingredients together and toss to coat fruit.  Remove pie shell from refrigerator and place fruit mixture into pie shell.  Top evenly with oatmeal-brown sugar-butter mixture and bake one hour or until bubbling and golden brown on top.  Let cool at least 20 minutes before serving. 

    Date Published: July 6, 2014

    All recipes have been tested by the Test Kitchens unless otherwise noted.

2 comments... read them below or add one


  1. July 7, 2014 5:45 am by Donna Reply

    As you say, rhubarb isn’t a common ingredient here in the South, but the times I’ve had it, I’ve loved the bite it adds to sweet desserts. Never thought of it in combo with peaches, and would love to try this. Almond seems a perfect addition!

    • July 9, 2014 9:37 pm by kim Reply

      Let me know if you make it. And toasted almonds would be good, too.

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