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Rhubarb crisp- 350, 375 or 400 degree oven?

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I've always baked my rhubarb crisp at 350 degrees, but about half the recipes in my rhubarb cookbook suggest a 375 degree oven, and a few even suggest 400 degrees. What is interesting to me is that most recipes have a suggested baking time somewhere between 35 minutes to an hour (mostly in the 40-50 minute range), regardless of the oven temperature.

What temperature do you like to bake your crisps at? Have you noticed a difference in the consistency of the filling if it's baked at a higher temperature?

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  1. I lean toward the higher end, esp with juicy fruit like rhubarb, peaches or cherries. The fruit isn't much different, but I get better browning of the crisp. I'd do apple at the lower end, though, because it seems to take longer for the apples to get soft and juicy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dct

      Agreed - typically 375 turns the juices syrupy and browns the crust nicely. Apples vary greatly from variety to variety. For the firmer ones, thinner slices and brief macerating in sugar before assembling the crisp or pie will compensate for the higher temperature.

    2. I've always baked mine at 350 for about an hour or a little more. I find that rhubarb takes a little longer to soften and most other crisp fruits and if I have the temperature to high the top gets overdone before the fruit is done.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Msradell

        Agreed... moreover, I like to let the filling "gel" a bit at a lower temp. And as I don't use anything but the rhubarb, some strawberries, and sugar; it takes a while.

        But I am very intrigued at higher temperature baking now, and want to try it.

        Question: does baking the entire pie at higher temps result in different result than low baking with high temp/broil finish?

        1. re: oryza

          For pie, for sure. The bottom crust is often soggy with lower temperature.Cooks Illustrated recommends pyrex pans because they retain heat better and you can see what color the bottom is. If I had a baking stone I'd put my pie pans on a preheated stone. Instead, I preheat a heavy sheet pan (containing parchment paper or tin foil in case of bubbling over) and put the filled pie pan on it. I think the entire crust tastes better when baked at 375. If you are making a crisp or other top-crust-only thing, there's less difference.

          1. re: greygarious

            Hmmm... I will definitely utilize this and see if it results in a crispier crust than the double blind bake with pre-heated filling... it would sure save a lot of work. :-P

      2. I just made rhubarb pie and, honestly, I can't remember if I used 350 or 375. I don't think it makes a lotta difference. I think I used 375