There’s something definitively summery about rhubarb crumble. The tart rhubarb, the sweet crumble paired with some custard or vanilla ice cream is the perfect follow-up to a summer meal.

Here are some fun facts about the highly underused, easy to grow plant:

- Although rhubarb is usually used in sweet dishes it is actually a vegetable.

- It grows very easily in Ireland and is a feature of backyards across the country.

- Earliest records date back to 2700 BC in China where rhubarb was cultivated for medicinal purposes (it has purgative qualities).

- A New York court decided in 1947 that since it was used in the United States as a fruit, it counted as a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties.

- The pinkest stalks are the tenderest.

Here’s the recipe:

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 4


12 stalks of fresh rhubarb, washed, cut into 5cm/ 2" pieces (see introduction for more detail)
4 tbsp water
8 tbsp fine sugar
110g/ 4oz butter, cut into small cubes
110g/ 4 oz fine sugar
180g/6oz plain flour


Heat the oven to 180° C/350° F/Gas 4.

Place the rhubarb, water, and sugar into a 4cm/1½in deep ovenproof dish.

In a baking bowl rub the butter, sugar, and flour together until it resembles fine sand, then sprinkle over the rhubarb.

Bake in the oven until light brown on the surface, approx 45 mins - 1 hour.

Serve piping hot from the oven with custard or ice cream.

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