Traditional Rhubarb Crumble Recipe
Rhubarb crumble is a classic English dessert, traditionally served with custard. The tart fruit mixed with the sweet crumbly topping is a treat for the taste buds, and makes the best of a crop that is traditionally grown in England.
While not exactly a fruit, as rhubarb is the stalk of the plant and actually considered to be a vegetable, it is generally sweetened and served as a dessert. The young tender stems picked in early spring are the best, but as long as you keep picking it, rhubarb carries on cropping right through the summer, so rhubarb crumble can be enjoyed for several months of the year.
The recipe below is a simple step by step guide to making a traditional rhubarb crumble.
- 1 1/2 lbs (700 g) fresh rhubarb
- 4 oz (115 g) soft brown sugar
- 6 oz (170 g) plain white flour
- 3 oz (85 g) butter
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- Wash the rhubarb, and chop into roughly 1 inch pieces. Grease a deep ovenproof dish with a little butter, and put the rhubarb in with half of the sugar, mixing it around a bit so that all of the rhubarb is coated in sugar.
- Into a mixing bowl, sift the flour, add the rest of the sugar, the mixed spice and the butter chopped into little pieces. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar with your fingertips until you have a fine crumbly texture, a bit like if you were making pastry. Pour the crumble mixture evenly over the rhubarb in the ovenproof dish, and pat down a little, so there are no gaps.
- Bake in a medium oven (about 180 deg C) for around 35-40 minutes, or until the top of the crumble has turned golden brown.
Serve the crumble hot with freshly made custard, cream or ice cream. It can also be enjoyed chilled on a hot summer's day, and it is delicious served with a creamy greek style yogurt.
If you enjoy experimenting with different flavours try varying this dessert by adding a little freshly grated ginger, some orange zest, or another fruit such as raspberries or apples to the rhubarb.
If you find the rhubarb too sharp, just try adding a little extra sugar or some honey to the rhubarb before putting on the crumble topping. Early rhubarb tends to be a sweeter and more tender than that cropped later in the season, and some people have more of a sweet tooth than others, so you may need to make adjustments accordingly.
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