Apricot Rhubarb Crumble

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apricot rhubarb crumble

Warning: this apricot rhubarb crumble is not for the faint of heart – if you don’t like tart desserts, this is not your cup of tea dish of crumble. If you do, keep reading! And if you’re on the fence, serve it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream! Actually, even if you’re not on the fence, putting ice cream on top still sounds like a good idea…

apricot rhubarb crumble

apricot rhubarb crumble

I often ate dried apricots when I was growing up, but it occurred to me last summer while making apricot compote that I didn’t really know if I liked fresh apricots – I couldn’t remember ever having eaten one. Earlier this week, while reading through The Flavor Bible, I found my explanation:

“Apricot is a fruit you need to cook to help unleash its flavors. A bite of raw apricot is kind of bland and doesn’t excite very much. If you throw that same apricot into the oven and heat it up a bit, it turns into a whole different fruit.” –Emily Luchetti, Farallon (San Francisco)

And there you have it! I often wonder about the first people who figured out things like these, like that cooked apricots are exponentially tastier than raw ones (or, “Hey! Let’s see what happens if we grate this zucchini and stick it in a cake!”) I like to imagine it goes something like this scene from Ratatouille. 


Ratatouille is one of my favorite animated films ever…no surprise there!


Anyway, back to this apricot rhubarb crumble. I had four apricots sitting around, begging to be made into something, and a few stalks of rhubarb left over from making rhubarb simple syrup for cocktails, so I decided to combine them into what I imagined I would bake in two individual soup crocks and call “apricot rhubarb crumble for two.” Except the volume of fruit far exceeded my mental calculations, so a third crock was called into service, but then, as it turns out, a crock full of dessert is a bit much for one person, so this recipe really serves about four. Whoops. But hey, who ever complained about having extra dessert on hand? (Answer: no one I want to be friends with!) apricot rhubarb crumble

Apricot Rhubarb Crumble

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes (20 minutes active time)
  • Print

Fruit mixture
4 apricots, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
2 stalks (about 1/3 pound) rhubarb, ends trimmed, cut into 1/4 – 1/2-inch thick slices
2 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
1/4 cup butter or dairy-free margarine, melted


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the soup crocks (or ramekins or whatever you’re using) with baking spray, and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine sliced apricots, sliced rhubarb, brandy, and vanilla extract. In a small, separate bowl, mix together the sugar and cornstarch before adding it to the fruit. Stir to combine, then set aside.

3. Prepare the topping: in a medium bowl, stir together all the ingredients except the melted butter. Once combined, pour in the melted butter and toss with a fork until all the dry ingredients are coated and small clusters form.

4. Portion out the fruit mixture into the soup crocks (you may want to use a slotted spoon to do this, if there is a lot of liquid), and spoon the topping on top.

5. Bake for 45-50 minutes*, until the rhubarb can be easily pierced with a knife. Serve warm.

* The time may have to be adjusted, depending on what you bake the crumble in. If you bake it in a casserole dish, it will take longer to bake than in individual portions.

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  1. cake lover says:

    I hope you used a spoon (not the fork in the photo) to get every delicious morsel of this beautiful dessert!

    • CakePants says:

      Thanks! I can’t imagine anyone not liking crumble with ice cream either, but if such people exist, then more for the rest of us! Thanks for stopping by :)

    • CakePants says:

      Thanks! I do love the strawberry/rhubarb combo, but I wanted to branch out and see what other fruits pair nicely with rhubarb – apricot certainly does, in my opinion :)

  2. Sam @ sugarspunrun says:

    I wonder the same thing about how people ever figured out how to cook these things (like who ever figured out that boiling an egg would be such a good idea, seriously!?). This combo sounds neat, I’ve never cooked with either apricot or rhubarb before, but now I really want to try! :)

  3. amber says:

    This sounds delicious. I don’t make a lot of crumbles, but I drink a lot of tea, and suddenly am coming to the conclusion that the would make a very perfect combo. I think I will have to try this recipe! I have little experience (actually none) with rhubarb, but certainly am looking forward to trying… ! Thanks for posting. Lovely photos, as well :)

    I like your blog. This is my first visit and it has a nice style. The food images on your sidebar in the grid-like setup… is that a wordpress plugin, or.. how did you get that like that?

    Glad to have found your blog!

    • CakePants says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by – I’m glad you’re here! The collection of sidebar images is a wordpress.com “gallery” widget (I myself haven’t done anything with plugins yet). Looking forward to checking out your blog as well!

  4. Allie says:

    Yum, yum yum. I’m a total lover of tart things so I loved your “warning” about how tart this is :) I bet I would love it. And I noticed the comment above me asking about the photos in your sidebar – I agree, they look really great.

  5. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) says:

    Ah so good! I discovered how much I love the rhubarb + stone fruit combination when I stumbled upon my peach rhubarb bar recipe last summer (which I’ve lately started making again, about once a week!). I’ll have to try this one, too, brandy & all!

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