Red, White and Rhubarb Crisp

rhubarb crisp ingred

I expected rhubarb to be out of season by now, but in western New York, this plant still thrives, perhaps due to the winter of the Arctic vortex and the cool spring afterwards. So I scrapped my plans for my usual strawberry-blueberry medley for July 4 and came up with a slightly different way to incorporate red, white and blue into my dessert. I used red rhubarb, blueberries, and white flour in the topping for this baked rhubarb crisp.

rhubarb crisp grange cookbookI adapted the recipe from a quintessentially American source, the National Grange Bicentennial Year Cookbook, published in 1976. The National Grange, founded in 1867, is also known as the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. It promotes “rural America and agriculture.” Translation: Farming. You can decide whether you think farming helps build democracy, but the recipes in the book promote basic cooking, from pot roast to biscuits. The recipe that I adapted comes from a member of the Mountain Home Grange in Princeton, Idaho. The granulated sugar makes the topping kind of gritty, but the sweetness offsets the tart rhubarb well. Substitute brown sugar if you prefer.

rhubarb crisp finishedBaked Rhubarb Crisp (1976)
Serves 8

3 ½ cups rhubarb, cut into approximately ½ inch slices
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 cup cold butter

  1. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan or 8- or 9-inch pie dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the rhubarb and blueberries in the dish, tossing to combine.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Cut in the butter (I used my fingers), mixing to form pea-sized lumps.
  4. Spread the topping over the fruit. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the topping is brown and the fruit is bubbly.
  5. Serve with ice cream or plain yogurt.




About heritagerecipebox

I am named after my great-grandmother, who only prepared two dishes, according to anyone who remembers. Somehow I ended up with a cooking gene that I brought with me from Richmond, Virginia to my current home in Boston, Massachusetts. I have worked as a journalist and published three cookbooks plus a memoir and a novel. This blog gives me a chance to share family recipes and other American recipes with a past.
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2 Responses to Red, White and Rhubarb Crisp

  1. Rhubarb does seem to have arrived late and stayed late this year — I agree that it’s probably vortex related. Anyway, I’m glad it’s still around! Love your photo of rhubarb and blueberries.


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