Rhubarb Crumble

We have an allotment where we grow fruit & veg. For those of you who aren’t in the UK an allotment is a piece of land you rent from the local parish council that has historically been set aside for local people (usually poor people) to grow fruit and vegetables on instead of in your back garden (if you have one). Ours is a half-sized plot, about 33′ x 120′ (I’m guessing the length here!)

We have asparagus, soft fruit bushes, raspberries and rhubarb permanently on it, we grow potatoes, beets, carrots, corn, various pumpkins, courgettes (zucchini) and squashes, climbing and bush beans, purple sprouting broccoli and leeks, onions and garlic… think I’ve missed a few.

We have a huge rhubarb plant that we pick from most of the summer, if you cut out the flower stalks you keep getting more stalks, and I make a lot of stewed rhubarb and crumbles as well as freezing it cut up for eating over the winter.

Here’s my recipe for Rhubarb Crumble — (sorry, no photos, it got eaten too quickly!)

Topping:

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 c wholewheat flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup butter, hard and cubed
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice
1/4 c. mixed seeds – sesame, flax, sunflower and pumpkin (opt.)
1/4 c. chopped walnuts or almonds (opt.)

Fruit:

1 1/4lb chopped rhubarb
1 c. brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
1 tbsp water

First, mix all the dry topping ingredients together, then cut in the cubes of butter with your hands until it resembles bread crumbs.

Then put the sugar, cinnamon and rhubarb into a pot and cook until 3/4 cooked on med. low heat, stirring when needed. Mix the water and cornflour together in a small bowl, then add to the pot if you think you need it, sometimes you don’t with rhubarb (definitely use if making a berry crumble). Take off the heat and pour into a baking pan. I usually use a 9″ x 13″ pan but make sure that it’s not going to be filled to the brim once you’ve got the topping on or you’ll have a mess to clean up in the oven if it overflows…. which can happen if you have really juicy fruit; you can always add a little more of the cornflour mix if you think the fruit will be really runny.

Take handfuls of the crumble mix and sprinkle on top of the fruit to cover it fairly evenly but bumpy, you should have leftover topping that you can freeze for next time. Bake at 175’C for 20-25 minutes or until the topping is cooked and lightly browned and the fruit is bubbling.

Try not to eat it all in one go….. 🙂

You can mix other fruit in with the rhubarb – apples, raspberries, blackberries, or use them by themselves. You can add lemon/orange zest or fresh or candied/crystalised ginger to the fruit, or put in individual baking dishes for a dinner party.

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