Recipe: How to make a Swedish rhubarb crumble

A classic Swedish rhubarb crumble, rounded with vanilla sauce or ice cream - what more do you need?

Recipe: How to make a Swedish rhubarb crumble
Rhubarb crumble. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Food writer John Duxbury adds some ginger and orange, wonderful partners to rhubarb, to this take on the classic Swedish rhubarb pie recipe. He also uses some nuts in the crumble. If you want a more traditional rhubarb pie then omit the nuts, ginger and orange zest.


Serves: six people

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking: 25 minutes



600 g (1 1/4 lb) rhubarb, cleaned and cut into 1 cm (½”) long pieces

150 g (2 cups) caster (superfine) sugar

2 tbsp cornflour (corn starch)

1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peel and finely chopped

1 orange, zest only

butter or margarine for greasing dish


90 g (3/4 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour

60 g (3/4 cup) porridge (rolled) oats

1 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar

75 g (1/3 cup) cold butter, cubed

25 g (2 tbsp) almond flakes (silvered almonds)


1. Preheat the oven to 225°C (450°F, Gas 8, Fan 190°C).

2. Grease a 22cm (8”) diameter dish which is about 2½ cm (1 inch) deep.

3. Put all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and mix thoroughly then tip into the pie dish.

4. Mix the flour, oats and sugar in a large bowl.

5. Rub in the butter using your finger tips until it forms crumbs and starts to stick together.

6. Crumble the mixture loosely over the filling with your fingers, so that it leaves slight gaps and you can still see the rhubarb mixture underneath. (You might not need it all.)

7. Scatter a few flaked almonds on top and then bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

8. Traditionally rabarberpaj is served with vaniljsås (vanilla sauce) but it also goes well with vanilla ice cream, whipped or clotted cream or crème fraîche.


• The colour is enhanced if you used forced rhubarb as it is redder and sweeter than ordinary rhubarb. (Forced rhubarb is grown in large sheds or under terracota pots and so is ready much earlier than rhubarb which is not covered. The most famous area for forced rhubarb farm is the Rhubarb Triangle, an area of 9-square-mile in Yorkshire in the north of England. One of rhubarb farms is owned by David Westwood where the picking process is as enchanting as the fruit itself.)

• Dot the crumble mixture over the top, leaving some gaps so that the rhubarb mixture shows through, even if you don’t use all the crumble mixture.

• You can do steps 4 and 5 in a food processor if you prefer but I think you get better crumbs doing it by hand, as well as less washing-up!

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of Swedish Food.


Swedish recipe of the week: coleslaw with cinnamon

If you have some leftover cinnamon from last week's cinnamon bun day, food writer John Duxbury shares his take on this classic salad, adding his own Swedish twist to it.

Swedish recipe of the week: coleslaw with cinnamon
The finished and garnished coleslaw. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Swedes tend to eat a lot of raw vegetables so it is not surprising that coleslaw makes a regular appearance at mealtimes in Sweden. Adding cinnamon may seem a little strange, but a small amount adds a little interest. It goes well with robust foods such as with venison burgers.

Serves: 4-5

Level: Very easy

Preparation: 5 minutes (Plus 20 minutes for the cabbage to marinate)
Takes 25 minutes
300 g (12 oz) white cabbage (about half a cabbage)
1 medium cabbage
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon
5 tbsp mayonnaise
Freshly chopped herbs to garnish

1. Remove the core of the cabbage and any blemished leaves.

2. Finely chop the cabbage into long thin strips. (You can do this with a julienne slicer fitted to a food processor if you have one.)

3. Peel and thinly slice the carrot.

4. Mix the cabbage, carrot, lemon juice, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and toss thoroughly. Leave to stand for about 20 minutes.

5. Tip the cabbage and carrot mixture into a colander and drain thoroughly.

6. Add the mayonnaise and mix thoroughly.

7. Garnish with a light coating of cinnamon and some chopped herbs.


– Don't add too much cinnamon. It needs to add interest without being overpowering.

– Don't be tempted to use reduce fat mayonnaise. We were, but the coleslaw wasn't nearly as nice as it somehow seemed to make it greasier. The amount of saturated fat in one portion is, in any case, fairly small, at under 2 grams, so we didn't feel too guilty eating coleslaw made with ordinary mayonnaise!

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of the Swedish Food website.