Wednesday, 2 December 2015


I used to think that rhubarb was vile. This assumption was based purely on memories of vile crumble we used to be served as dessert smothered in lumpy custard at primary school. Now that I'm more older and wiser (just!) I can see that these crumbles were never going to be amazing having been mass produced and baked to death however if you the plunge and make your own delicious version from scratch with the best homemade ingredients you might've pleasantly surprised to find yourself falling in love with this old foe! 

You filling is pretty straight forward. It's basically a stewed rhubarb and apple mixture sweetened with light brown sugar. I like using brown sugar as it gives the filling a caramel like flavor which is most delightful. You can use any sugar really so don't worry if you want to use something like caster sugar instead.

I stew my rhubarb so that it's quite smooth, almost like a very loose jam. Your crumble will then act as the crunch to your pudding. If you want you can leave your filling with a few chunks of rhubarb still bobbing about if your want some additional texture. The same can be applied to the apples (the variety you use is your touch but I do love a pink lady!), cut them into chunks rather than grating and you'll get a nice little cubes of it throughout the crumble instead. I imagine this is how most people like their crumbles. I'm just weird when it comes to fruit in my desserts!

To add a bit of added Christmas oopmf to your crumble I've added in a smidge of ginger and cinnamon just to lift the flavor of the filling just so it's not too overtly sweet and sugary. You can experiment with some other spices such as nutmeg and all spice which I think would work well or you can leave the spices out altogether if you wish just beware that you might the filling too sweet and a touch one note.

For the topping I've add in some oats which when added to the butter, flour and sugar gives it a touch of soft chewiness alongside the crunch which makes everything a bit more interesting in the mouth along with the soft filling. You can leave the oats out if you want to go the whole hog and have a crunchathon on top of the bake, just make sure you add in 50g more flour so you can rub in that butter fully to make a crumbly crumble topping.

Recipe below will feed 4-6 people depending on how hungry you are. You can prep it all beforehand if you wish but make sure you only sprinkle the crumble over the top just as you are about to bake it otherwise the topping may go soggy if left to sit for too long.

Apple And Rhubarb Crumble

500g Chopped Rhubarb Stalks
2 Grated Medium Apples
Juice Of 1 Orange (Around 4 Tbsp)
8 Tbsp Soft Light Brown Sugar  + 110g For The Crumble
50g Grated Ginger
1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
50g Oats
110g Plain Flour
110g Butter

  1. Begin by adding the rhubarb, apple, orange juice and the 8 tbsp soft light brown sugar to a pan and heat on a medium heat, stirring regularly until the rhubarb and apple break down to form a smooth, loose jam like consistency. Remove from the heat, stir through the ginger and cinnamon and leave to one side.
  2. Pop your oven on at this point to 180 degrees (160 fan).
  3. Pop the oats, flour, butter and the remaining 110g of sugar into a bowl and rub everything together with your fingertipsuntil all combined to form your crumble topping.
  4. Take a 20cm square baking dish and pour in the filling mixture and then evenly sprinkle over the crumble topping so all the filling is covered. 
  5. Pop into the oven for 40 minutes until the topping has browned and the filling is bubbling underneath. 
Don't worry if you crumble starts to bubble out from underneath the crumble either, in fact that's part of the mouthwatering joy of a crumble I think. When you remove it from the oven leave it to rest for around five minutes just so that it fills up slightly so you can dish it out easily. Serve with a touch of custard or ice cream. The contrast of the soft filling with that crunchy topping is the stuff dreams are made of. If only this was the way they made rhubarb crumble in my school it wouldn't of taken me so long to bite the bullet and have a go at making my own. Take the plunge and give it a go! It's a right cracking' crumble!

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