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Stewed Rhubarb and Apples

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Stewed rhubarb and apples: an easy-to-make, tart, and sweet dessert perfect for the season. Serve it with vanilla ice cream, vanilla sauce, or custard.

bowl with rhubarb and apples stew served with melting vanilla ice cream.

Now that the rhubarb is in season, you might be looking for a good recipe to use it. This stewed rhubarb and apple recipe is excellent! It uses just a few ingredients, it’s super easy to make, and tastes fantastic.

And if you have a lot of this wonderful plant in the garden, read What to Do with Rhubarb. Or learn How to Preserve Rhubarb. Or check out the Rhubarb Apple Crumble or the Rhubarb Crisp with Apples.

You can also learn how to stew other fruit. How about some Stewed Plums, Stewed Pears, or Apricot Sauce?

Recipe ingredients

apples, rhubarb, sugar, vanilla extract in a baking tin.
  • Rhubarb: I had 800 g/1.7 lb, but you can easily scale the recipe up and down, adjusting the sugar accordingly.
  • Apples: The same amount, 800 g/ 1.7 lb. I had crisp, tart apples this time, which retain their shape better during cooking. However, softer sorts are also great; they will break down more during cooking, but that’s fine; the compote or stew will still be perfectly delicious.
  • Sugar: Regular granulated sugar or a sugar alternative. I’ve successfully cooked this rhubarb recipe with xylitol. You can also sweeten the stew with honey or maple syrup (to taste).
  • Vanilla extract and lemon juice to add flavor.

Step-by-step instructions

  • Rhubarb: Wash and chop the stalks. Mix the pieces with the sugar in a large bowl and let sit for one hour, stirring a couple of times in between. The mixture will release liquid during this time.
collage of two pictures of chopped rhubarb mixed with sugar in a large bowl.
  • Apples: Peel and core the apples. Cut them into small pieces.
  • Combine the rhubarb and its liquid, apples, vanilla extract, and lemon juice in a large pot.
  • Cook: Bring to a boil and turn down the heat. Place a lid on top but leave a crack open. Simmer on medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes or until the rhubarb breaks down and the apple pieces are softer. Remove the lid during the last 2-3 minutes of the cooking time.
  • Let cool slightly and serve.
collage of two pictures of stewing apples and rhubarb in a large pot.

Expert tips

  • Rhubarb leaves are poisonous! Please discard them!
  • You will not need any extra liquid to stew the rhubarb and the apples, the liquid formed during steeping will be enough.
  • If you think there is too much liquid in the pot, remove the lid and increase the cooking temperature during the last 2-3 minutes of the cooking time to reduce the sauce slightly. However, the mixture should remain saucy and not become dry.
  • If you like to have more of a sauce than a stew, chop the apples into smaller cubes, and increase the cooking time until the pieces break down and the mixture reduces a bit more.
  • For a smooth sauce, you can blend the mixture with an immersion blender.
overhead view of a small bowl with rhubarb and apple dessert.

Recipe FAQ

Shouldn’t I peel the stalks?

No, the peel will be perfectly soft once cooked; you will never notice it.

Can I use frozen rhubarb?

Yes. Mix it with the sugar and all the ingredients and start cooking it without letting it sit. The frozen pieces will release enough liquid while you cook them.

Can I add some spices?

Sure. Cinnamon, a bit of nutmeg, cardamom, or star anise are all great additions.

How to store?

Refrigerate in an airtight container or a jar; the stewed rhubarb will be fine for at least 4-5 days.
Freeze in an airtight container; it will keep well for at least 6 months.

How to serve?

  • You can serve the stewed rhubarb and apples warm or at room temperature.
  • When warm, I love to serve it with a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Top it with vanilla sauce, custard, or whipped cream when cool.
  • Or you can serve it as it is without any extras.
  • You can also use it to top a hot bowl of rice pudding with condensed milk or semolina pudding. Serve it with müsli, porridge, Greek yogurt, or strained yogurt, on pancakes, waffles, or crepes.
close up of cooked soft apples and rhubarb garnished with lemon balm.

More rhubarb recipes

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bowl of stewed rhubarb with a spoon in it and herbs on the side.

Stewed Rhubarb and Apples

Stewed rhubarb and apples: an easy-to-make, tart, and sweet dessert perfect for the season. Serve it with vanilla ice cream, vanilla sauce, or custard.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American, German
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories: 230kcal
Author: Adina

Equipment

  • Large pot

Ingredients 

  • 800 g rhubarb 1.7 lb
  • 200 g granulated sugar 7 oz/ 1 cup, Note 1
  • 800 g apples 1.7 lb, Note 2
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  • Rhubarb: Wash and chop the rhubarb stalks. Place them in a large bowl, add the sugar and mix well. Let it sit for one hour until a syrup forms at the bottom of the bowl. Stir a couple of times during this time.
  • Apples: Peel and core the apples. Cut them into small pieces.
  • Combine: Place the rhubarb and all the released liquid, apples, vanilla extract, and lemon juice in a large pot. Stir well to combine.
  • Cook: Bring to a boil and turn down the heat. Place a lid on top but leave a crack open. Simmer for 8-10 minutes on medium-low heat until the rhubarb breaks down, and the apple pieces are softer. Remove the lid during the last 2-3 minutes of the cooking time.

Notes

  1. You can add more sugar at the end if you like the dessert to be sweeter. However, I find it perfect as it is.
  2. About 4-5 medium apples.

Nutrition

Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 532mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 208IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 1mg
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