This is easy to make blueberry and rhubarb crisp baked in the oven to perfection. A hint of cinnamon and lemon brings all the flavours together and makes this a great comfort food. Great for pudding, afternoon snack or even lazy breakfast!
I love porridge oats, so when I came across a recipe for a traditional apple crisp I got really excited that the recipe topping included oats. I’ve previous made fruit crumble, but the UK version doesn’t usually includes oats, just flour, butter and sugar. This recipe is much more substantial, the oats pretty much make it into a stand alone food. Breakfast anyone?
A bit about blueberry & rhubarb crisp ingredients (and any substitutions you can use)
Use fresh or frozen rhubarb cut up into 1 cm chunks. Like with my Rhubarb & Yoghurt Cake recipe, there is no need to pre-cook the rhubarb, it will be cooked/baked together with the blueberries.
I’ve used fresh blueberries, but you are welcome to use frozen ones too. If you use frozen fruit in the filling, the crisp should be eaten with 1-2 days and not frozen again. If you use fresh fruit, you can freeze the crisp, but the topping might be slightly soggy when you defrost it. You can easily crisp up the top by putting to the oven for 10 min on 180C to warm up.
I’ve used basic granulated white sugar with this recipe, but you can substitute it for brown sugar or other types of sugar if you like (e.g. coconut sugar). You do need the crunch in the sugar and the melting element, which means that substituting normal sugar for man-made sugars like Splenda doesn’t work as well.
If you are worried that this recipe has too much sugar, reduce the amount by a bit. It will still taste amazingly.
The best oats for this recipe are traditional breakfast oats, large steel-cut or Scottish Oats. Unless you have absolutely no other options, don’t use instant oats as they will lose their texture and will turn into a sort of mush.
I’ve used plain (all purpose flour), but you are welcome to use any other low gluten – plain – flour. If you fancy a wholemeal version of this recipe, you can try wholemeal plain flour, spelt or buckwheat flours. If you are after a gluten free fruit crisp, you are welcome to use any gluten plain (all purpose flour). There is no need to use xanthan gum with the flour as it’s only used for topping and we don’t need to worry about the flour keeping a particular structure (like if you are baking a cake).
You will find that some recipes use flour in the filling too. This is so that the filling is not too soggy. If you want to do that, 1-2 tablespoons of plain flour are enough to thicken the filling. You can also use cornflour (or corn-starch). I prefer to keep my fruit as it is and just add less water.
Rhubarb and blueberries have a lovely flavour, but they can be improved with a dash of lemon as it adds sharpness to the dish. With the sweet crisp topping, it’s the perfect combination.
I like to add some spice to my fruit crisps, whether it’s cinnamon or mixed spice. It just adds extra warmness to the recipe and it makes it into a super comforting food.
I’ve used unsalted butter, which is melted and added to create the crumble topping at a room temperature. To achieve that crumbly, yet crisp texture on the top of your filling, it’s best to use melted butter that soaks up the flour and oats and doesn’t run down into the filling when it starts to get hot in the oven. It makes perfect sense when you think about it, but if you add the butter cold and create crumble, you will very likely end up with most of the butter in the rhubarb and dry crisp topping.
If you don’t have unsalted butter, you can also use salted butter, but then don’t add any more salt to your crisp topping.
If you don’t have any butter at all, you can also use butter substitutions, such as coconut oil or margarine, but the flavour of your crisp topping will change.
P.S This Blueberry & Rhubarb Crisp is delicious with my traditional homemade vanilla ice cream.
More pudding recipes
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Blueberry & Rhubarb Crisp
- 1/2 cup plain flour all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup breakfast oats rolled or large oats
- 1/3 cup sugar up to 1/2 cup if you want the topping to be sweeter
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups rhubarb cut in small chunks (1cm)
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon grind optional
- 1/2 cup sugar or little more depends on your taste
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice or cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons water or orange juice
- To make the topping, mix together the flour, oats, a pinch of salt and sugar.
- Add the melted butter and work it into the flour mixture to create a crumble.
- In another bowl mix together the rhubarb, blueberries, lemon juice, lemon grind, mixed spice (or cinnamon) and water.
- Scoop the filling into the baking dish
- Sprinkle topping over the filling mixture evenly and pat down gently.
- Bake at 180C (Gas mark 3) 350°F for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and the rhubarb is soft.
- Serve warm (or hot) as it is or with vanilla ice cream.