Blackberry & Rhubarb Crisp Recipe
This blackberry and rhubarb crisp recipe is a family favorite, and I'm so excited to share it with you! Crisps were a popular dessert growing up and I've been excited to put my own spin on them. Now, when the first rhubarb appears each spring, this is my go-to recipe. It's easy to put together but feels like something special.
You can make it with fresh or frozen rhubarb, and the topping is amazing. So if you love rhubarb desserts as much as I do, this will be one of your favorites! Each bite combines sweet and tart flavors with the perfect amount of crunchiness in the topping.
Why this recipe works?
This recipe is great for the crowd. Whenever I make a crisp, it disappears within minutes! It's also easy to make if you're hosting or attending a party where there will be lots of hungry guests—all you need are some essential ingredients from your pantry and refrigerator, plus one big baking sheet—no fancy equipment necessary!
The topping is crunchy sweetness with just enough tartness to keep things interesting. If you're worried about not having enough rhubarb flavor in each bite, don't fret: the fresh fruit does shine through with every forkful of this crisp.
What is a crisp?
A crisp is a sweetened fruit dish, often made with stewed fruits. Crisps can be hot or cold, and they may or may not have added sugar. Typically they are topped with a sweet streusel topping.
There are differences between a crumble, crisp, a buckle, and more, but the distinction is that the topping of a crisp includes oats and a crumble does not! They're a great way to use overripe fruits in your kitchen, as they are so easy to make!
The crisp is a classic, old-fashioned dessert that's easy to make and hard to mess up. The best part about this rhubarb crisp recipe is that you can customize it with any fruit in season.
Wondering what rhubarb tastes like? It's a treat! I typically use fresh rhubarb, but frozen works too, especially if it's already in larger chunks. If you are using thin-sliced rhubarb pieces, it should be fine to use them right out of the freezer. Also, drain the excess liquid off before placing it in your baking dish.
This recipe uses lemon honey instead of sugar as a sweetener, but use whatever honey you have on hand. Honey adds a unique flavor to the crisp, making it taste better than regular sugar-based crisps.
The best berries for making fruit crisps are blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and peaches. For this recipe, I used blackberries for their intense flavor and beautiful color.
You can also use other fruits besides blackberries — blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and peaches are just a few options!
Chia seeds (not shown)
These are added to the filling and used as a thickener. The fruit will produce a lot of juice and the chia will thicken up the fruit base in the oven.
I use regular old-fashioned oats (not quick-cooking oats) in this recipe. If you are going gluten-free, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
Brown sugar adds extra sweetness and depth to the topping for this crisp. Use light or dark brown sugar for best results (either one will work). Do not use brown sugar substitutes for this recipe, as it does not bake well with them.
Butter gives this rhubarb crisp recipe its signature texture; if you only plant-based foods, use your go-to substitute.
Sourdough Starter Discard
I added this for extra moisture and to add some tartness to the topping. This is in place of flour, which you might see in a crisp topping. It's not necessary, but feel free to try it to see how you like it!
Tips for Buying Blackberries:
Blackberries are one of my favorite fruits, so I try to buy them whenever they are available. Still, if you want to make your blackberry jam or jelly, try out some different varieties at the farmer's market or grocery store to find the ones that taste best to you! Here are a few tips from my experience:
Make sure the berries aren't too soft or moldy looking because those may not taste very good once cooked. Try picking out ones with bright colors and firm flesh instead.
Choose medium-sized berries over large ones because they tend to be sweeter and less acidic than smaller ones.
We're starting with the fun part: making the fruit filling! Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
First, chop your rhubarb into 1-inch pieces (you'll need about four stalks), add blackberries and toss with honey in a medium bowl until coated. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through roasting time. Allow cooling slightly before adding to the crisp.
Once cool, add your chia seeds as the berry-rhubarb mixture will produce a lot of juice and the chia will thicken up the base in the oven.
Meanwhile, combine starter, oats, and brown sugar in a large bowl and mix with a fork or pastry cutter until well combined. Add butter and mix until crumbly (see photo above). Set aside half of the oat mixture for topping later in the process.
Generously grease your baking dish with butter or nonstick spray, so it is evenly coated (this will help prevent sticking). Spread blackberry and rhubarb mixture evenly into prepared pan, then sprinkle reserved oat mixture over filling, then bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
When is rhubarb in season?
Rhubarb is in season from April through June — though it may be available year-round at some supermarkets or farmers' markets. Look for firm bright red stalks, that are not wilted or bruised. Rhubarb should be stored in the refrigerator and will last up to three weeks if properly packaged and storedAre rhubarb leaves poisonous?
The leaves of rhubarb contain oxalic acid, so they're poisonous and shouldn't be eaten.Can rhubarb be frozen?
Rhubarb can be frozen and it's a great option to freeze it when you aren't ready to use it while it's in season.
Blackberry & Rhubarb Crisp Recipe
- 1 cup of chopped rhubarb
- ½ pint of blackberries
- ¼ cup of lemon honey
- ½ teaspoon chia seeds
- ½ cup of oats
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup corn flakes
- ¼ cup sourdough starter
- Three tablespoons of cold butter, cubed
- The first step to this recipe is making the fruit filling! Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.First, chop your rhubarb into 1-inch pieces (you'll need about four stalks), add blackberries and toss with honey in a medium bowl until coated. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through roasting time.
- Allow cooling slightly before adding to the crisp. Once cool, add your chia seeds.Meanwhile, combine starter, oats, and brown sugar in a large bowl and mix with a fork or pastry cutter until well combined. Add butter and mix until crumbly (see photo above). Set aside the oat mixture for topping later in the process.Generously grease your baking dish with butter or nonstick spray so it is evenly coated (this will help prevent sticking). Spread blackberry and rhubarb mixture evenly into prepared pan, then sprinkle reserved oat mixture over filling, then bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
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