This recipe is the result of a number of new discoveries for me:

1. I had never been to the Green City Market in Chicago until last weekend.
2. I had never made anything with rhubarb.
3. I didn’t know that there was such thing as pure maple sugar in granulated form.

We FINALLY trekked to Lincoln Park to experience the Green City Market last Saturday. It was all that I hoped it would be: fresh produce, baked goods, cheeses, meats, delicious food vendors, live folk music and food lovers, families and dogs sitting in the grass and enjoying it all. We returned home with 2 bunches of asparagus, a large bunch of rhubarb, fresh apricot raisin bread and our bellies filled with treats.

My mother used to make delicious rhubarb crisp so I decided to go that route with my first rhubarb experiment. As I was chopping the bright red stalks, a light bulb went off in my head. This might be the perfect use for the maple sugar I had acquired that I didn’t quite know what to do with. I mixed it with brown sugar, flour, butter, a pinch of cinnamon and some oats for texture. Eureka! It was awesome.

Since rhubarb is quite tart, I pressed some “crumble” into the bottom of the pan and sprinkled it on top to sandwich it between sweet goodness. We devoured this entire dish in nearly 24 hours. No need to keep experimenting with other rhubarb crisp recipes. This first hit was a home run.

Rhubarb Maple Crisp
Makes 4-6 servings

1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup maple sugar (if you don’t have this, do 1 full cup brown sugar)
1 cup flour
3/4 cup oats (I like it better with old fashioned, not quick cooking. Either will work)
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups sliced rhubarb
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine brown sugar, maple sugar, flour, oats and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir with a whisk to combine all the dry ingredients. Slowly add the melted butter stirring to combine. Mix together until crumbly.

In a saucepan combine the water, granulated sugar, cornstarch and vanilla. Cook and stir until the mixture becomes transparent and has thickened.

Press about 1/2 of the crumble mixture into the bottom of a pie plate or 8 inch square pan. Top with sliced rhubarb. Pour the water and sugar mixture over the rhubarb. Sprinkle the rest of the crumble over the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until it is bubbly and topping is slightly browned.


Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or cold. It tastes great the next day!