Rhubarb is an excellent fruit for cooking, it’s cheap enough and easy enough, for anyone to cook. Remember, never use the roots or the leaves!
Here’s a little dish for dessert pairing rhubarb with apple and topped with a crumble.
Crumble originated in the Second World War, my mother used it as a quicker, easier alternative to pastry, out of whatever fat was available at the time. Personally, I’m happy with the butter.
- 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 bunch rhubarb, trimmed, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup (70g) caster sugar
- 50g butter, softened
- 1/4 cup (55g) brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
- 1/2 cup (50g) rolled oats
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
First make the crumble
Put the butter, sugar, flour, oats and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the mixture until just combined. Give it a quick blast in the deep-freeze after it’s been rubbed together and retrieve it when the fruit is piled into your baking dish.
Prepare the fruit
Now pull any tough strands of skin off the rhubarb – don’t peel it completely or you won’t have any colour left. Cut the stalks into fairly chunky pieces so they keep their shape and don’t end up as mash when you cook them. Peel and core the apples and cut them into similar sized chunks – you want equal quantities of each to balance the flavour.
Melt a knob of butter in a pan and saute the apple and rhubarb to drive off any extra water. If you don’t do this now it will release a flood of liquid into the crumble and make it soggy. Add a pinch of cinnamon and a soup spoon of honey. Keep cooking until all the liquid has evaporated.
Use a baking dish, or a pie dish. Spoon the fruit mixture into it. Sprinkle with the crumble mixture. Bake for 10 minutes or so until the crumble mixture is golden brown and crisp. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with ice cream or a dollop of double cream.