Apple Rhubarb Pie with Crumb Topping
Combine the tart flavors of rhubarb with the crisp texture of apples to make this delicious apple rhubarb pie. The oat crumb topping is perfectly buttery and crunchy!
One of my favorite desserts is apple crumble pie. When I saw fresh rhubarb at the store, I knew I had to toss some in to my next pie! The tart flavor and bright colors add a new layer of deliciousness.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make. You can use store-bought pie crust for easy prep (or make your own crust ahead of time). The filling and topping comes together in minutes!
- Great use of in-season ingredients. Take advantage of having fresh rhubarb during the early summer or freeze it and use it when apples are in season in early fall!
- Comfort food. The aromas of a freshly baked pie filling the kitchen is simply the best.
- Perfect for any occasion! Whether it is the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving or a late summer evening with friends, you can enjoy this pie any time of the year.
- Apples: Use a crisp apple, such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp. The texture will withstand the heat of the oven. Peel, core and slice before using.
- Rhubarb: Fresh rhubarb will provide the best flavor, but frozen may also be used. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Pie crust: Use either homemade or store-bought crust. If using my homemade pie crust recipe, you will only need one piece of dough (save the other for another recipe, like my pecan pie).
- Oats: Rolled oats, also known as old-fashioned oats, make the crumb topping chewy and flavorful.
- Butter: Use cold unsalted butter cut into 1/4-inch pieces. It has to be cold in order to get the right texture for the topping.
- Spices: Check that your spices are fresh and not expired for the best flavor!
Refer to recipe card for ingredient details and measurements.
Add some chopped nuts. You can add nuts to either the filling or the topping (or both!) Roughly chop about 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans. Stir in with the apple rhubarb ingredients or whisk in with the dry ingredients for the topping.
Add some berries. Just like my strawberry rhubarb crisp, this pie tastes delicious with berries! Add 1/2 cup diced strawberries or raspberries to the filling ingredients.
Make a top crust. Use a second crust to drape over the filling. Crimp the edges and slices a couple holes in the center to release steam. Alternatively, you can make a lattice pie top like I do for my cranberry apple pie!
How to Make Apple Rhubarb Pie
- Make the filling: In a large bowl, toss together the apples, rhubarb, sugar, flour, spices and lemon juice.
- Make the crumb topping: Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour, oats, brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon. Use a pastry cutter to cut cold butter into the dry ingredients.
- Assemble: Transfer filling to chilled crust. Add crumb topping and press down slightly.
- Bake pie at 400° F for 20 minutes, then decrease the temperature to 375° F for 30 to 40 more minutes.
Chill the pie crust. In order to get a flaky pie crust, make sure the dough is cold. I always put my dough in the pie plate first and keep it in the freezer while preparing the filling and topping.
Prepare the rhubarb properly. Remove the leaves and ends of stalks, then wash under cold water. Cut the stalks into slices no smaller than 1/2-inch pieces. Remove any brown spots as you slice.
Use cold butter. This is super important for the oat crumble! If the butter is too warm, then it will melt into the filling as the pie bakes and the topping won’t be as crisp and crunchy.
Keep an eye on the pie while it bakes. After about 30 to 40 minutes of baking, check that the crust isn’t browning too quickly. If it is, put a layer of aluminum foil loosely over the top until done baking.
Let the pie cool completely, about 4 hours, before slicing. This is really important if you want the slices to be clean and structured. I usually wait a full 6 hours before cutting.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
Make ahead: The crumb topping may be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. If making your pie crust from scratch, it may also be kept in the refrigerator for 48 hours. Make sure it is tightly wrapped with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
Storage: After the pie has cooled, cover it and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It is good to serve chilled, at room temperature or reheated.
Freezing: After the pie has cooled, wrap the entire plate with plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
Reheating: Preheat oven to 350 F. Remove any plastic wrap and place a layer of aluminum foil over the pie. If chilled, reheat for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through. If frozen, increase baking time to 20 to 30 minutes.
Yes, but fresh rhubarb has more flavor. If using frozen, defrost and discard juices before using as directed in the recipe.
Yes, quick oats will work, but keep in mind the texture will be slightly less crunchy. Do not use steel-cut oats (they are too tough).
Most likely the butter is too warm or the mixture was over-mixed. Be sure to use cold butter and a pastry cutter for best results.
No, it’s not necessary. It helps soften and sweeten the rhubarb, but I found that it softens up just fine if added directly to the filling and baked.
Did you enjoy this dessert? Then try these recipes next!
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Get the Recipe: Apple Rhubarb Pie with Crumb Topping
Apple Rhubarb Filling
- 4 large Granny Smith or Honey Crisp apples, peeled and sliced into ⅛-inch slices
- 2 cups (255 g) sliced rhubarb, cut 1/2 inch thick
- ⅓ cup (66 g) granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¾ cup (94 g) all purpose flour
- ½ cup (40 g) rolled oats
- ⅓ cup (66 g) packed light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup (66 g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup (113 g or 1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Roll pie dough into an 11-inch circle and press into one 9-inch pie plate. Crimp the edges using your fingers, then place the pie plate in the freezer while preparing the filling.
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- In a large bowl, toss together the sliced apples, rhubarb, sugar, flour, lemon juice and spices. Toss until evenly coated.
- In a large bowl, make the crumble topping. Whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon. Add butter and use a pastry cutter or your hands to mix butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
- Remove pie crust from the freezer. Add the filling to the pie plate (mound it slightly in the middle). Add the crumble topping and gently press it down onto the filling so it stays.
- Place the pie on the middle rack in the oven with a large baking sheet on a lower rack below. Bake at 400° F for 20 minutes, then keeping the pie in the oven, decrease the temperature to 375° F for 30 to 40 more minutes. After 20 minutes, check on the pie. If the crust and crumble are golden in color, place aluminum foil over it to prevent burning.
- Allow pie to cool for at least 3 hours before cutting and serving. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.