Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Rhubarb Crumble

The fruit patch is really taking off. Not only have we had gluts of blackcurrants and wild strawberries, we've also seen the first of our rhubarb doing rather well. The arrival of some dear crumble-loving friends gave me the perfect excuse to create the first crumble made with our own fruit.

It's a testament to the freshness of the rhubarb, and the deliciousness of Nigella's recipe, that we fell on it when it came out of the oven, and it was only after we'd started helping ourselves to the dish that I remembered to take a photograph for this blog!

Serves 4-6

When giving this recipe Nigella states that it serves 10 people, most uncharacteristically assuming very small portions. In my experience this serves 4 with very big appetites and many second helpings, or 6 people with a little more self control.

Adapted from Nigella Lawson's recipe in Feast. Buy the book on Amazon
As she states in her brilliant book, this is the best crumble you may ever taste. Not wanting to mess with perfection, all I've done is add some oats to the topping to make it even crunchier.

for the rhubarb base:
750g/900g rhubarb chopped into small pieces
(shop bought rhubarb will be bright pink; home grown tends to be a much paler pink and green)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cornflour
50g caster sugar

1. Turn the oven to 190C (170C fan oven). Find a good sized pie dish.

2. In a saucepan, heat the chopped rhubarb over a medium heat with the butter, vanilla extract, cornflour and sugar, stirring every so often for five minutes, or until the rhubarb has softened into the melted butter.

3. Spoon the rhubarb mixture into the pie dish, making sure all the buttery juices from the pan are poured in too. If you are preparing this crumble in advance, now is the time to cover the dish and place it somewhere cool until you're ready to make the topping and bung it in the oven.

for the crumble topping:
110g unsalted butter, chopped into pieces
110g self raising flour
40g rolled oats
3 tablespoons demerara sugar

4. To make the crumble topping, put the flour and butter in a large mixing bowl and rub the two together with your clean hands, until the mixture is the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the oats and demarara sugar and stir gently until well combined.

5. Then spoon the crumble ontop of the rhubarb, covering all the fruit well and pressing the topping down with the back of the spoon. It's worth placing this dish over a baking tray before placing it in the oven, as this catches the crumble juices that drip down when it bakes.

6. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. If it hasn't browned enought for you after 40 minutes, then you can place it under the medium heat of the grill, but only for a minute as it will burn very easily.

7. Serve straight out of the oven, with some cream and/or ice cream.

This crumble was idly baked while chatting to our mates Sean and Jules in the kitchen.