Rhubarb Crumble

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One of my favourite things about Springtime is rhubarb. Whenever I see it in the supermarket I insist on getting some. It actually makes me kind of excited. I know, I’m an embarrassment, excited by rhubarb. More like, excited by the endless possibilities of extremely tasty goods that can be made with those beautiful long pink stalks. 

Our first batch of rhubarb had an unknown destination when we bought it. I wanted to try something new & different, like Rhubarb & Strawberry Meringue Tarts or Upside-down Rhubarb Cake or a jam or something. You know, something you don’t make everytime you get rhubarb. I voiced my plans to the panel (family members) &, while they all agreed that the options sounded great, they all voted in favor of an option I purposely didn’t put on the list: Rhubarb Crumble. What is the point in a panel if they’re all going to vote for something that didn’t make the final cut? That’s like the American Idol judges choosing someone they sent home after their first audition as the winner of the show. It just doesn’t work like that. 

Seeing as my panel were made up of the family members who would be eating the end result, they won. Also, as there was three of them & only one of me, I was sadly outnumbered. Saving all of my new & exciting rhubarb desserts for the next few batches, I humbly admitted defeat & began making the crumble. Don’t get me wrong, I love crumble. Crumble is one of my favourite desserts. But it’s just that we ALWAYS make some form of rhubarb crumble when we have rhubarb. I was just trying to expand the boundaries & live a little. Is that so difficult to understand?

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Despite the fact that we had lovely juicy strawberries in the fridge that would have gone perfectly with this, as well as a number of other fruits that also would have worked, I just made a plain rhubarb crumble. Rhubarb Crumble was what they wanted, so Rhubarb Crumble they got. In case you haven’t noticed already, not getting my own way with food really brings out the worst in me.

Regardless of my stubbornness & resulting lack of extra fruit add-ins, the crumble turned out extremely well. I didn’t have time to stew the rhubarb beforehand, so I added some orange juice & zest in to help it along, it worked perfectly. The rhubarb & orange went quite well together, each flavour held its own. Also, have I mentioned how much I love crumb toppings? Whether it’s on this Rhubarb Crumble, my Strawberry & Apple Crumbles, or on top of Raspberry Spiced Muffins, it never disappoints. I added some pecans to this crumble for a little extra crunch & some nutty flavour, I highly recommend you do too. A large helping spot of custard on top wouldn’t go amiss either. Why did I put up such a fight to not make crumble? 

Serves 4 

Ingredients 

  • 600g rhubarb
  • 85g caster sugar
  • grated rind & juice of half an orange
  • 125g plain flour
  • 65g butter
  • 65g brown sugar
  • 2 handfuls of pecans, roughly chopped

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Cut the rhubarb into 1inch lengths & place in an appropriately sized ovenproof dish (as you can see, I just used the first dish I laid my hand on). Scatter the caster sugar, orange rind & juice over the rhubarb.
  3. To make the crumble, place the flour & butter in a mixing bowl & rub together with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the brown sugar. 
  4. Spread the crumble topping evenly over the rhubarb layer, topping with the pecans afterwards. Lightly press the crumble mixture down, but only lightly, as the crumble will become soggy if pressed down too much. 
  5. Bake in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown. 
  6. Serve warm with custard, cream or ice cream. 


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