Spring is rhubarb season and time for me to bake as many crumbles as is humanly possible – the best way I know to wow guests with its wondrous contrast of taste and texture.
This recipe is in my book Dish using apples (delectably tart Northern Spys are ideal) which you can, of course, substitute. Add cranberries and/or a little lemon juice to them for a tangy touch, if desired.
The topping is cookie-like and adds the perfect caramelized, crunchy crown to the fruit. I can’t claim this is original – I found it in talented pastry chef Regan Daley’s book The Sweet Kitchen.
I use a rectangular 10 x 7-inch ceramic baking dish about 3 inches deep.
You will thank me for this so, in advance, you’re welcome!
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
About 1/4 cup granulated or brown sugar
5 to 6 stalks rhubarb (about 4 cups), chopped
Preheat oven to 350F.
In large bowl, combine flour, oats and brown sugar. Add butter. Cut into mixture using wire hand pastry blender or two knives, until it resembles very coarse crumbs. Using fingers, mix until it forms a ball.
Place rhubarb in even layer in approximately 4-quart ovenproof pie or baking dish; sprinkle with sugar. Arrange crumble topping over it, closing any gaps.
Bake in oven about 1 hour or until bubbly and topping is a rich caramel brown.
Serve warm with vanilla or other favourite ice cream.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.