I have the most hideous cold at the moment. A mountain of tissues has built up beside me on the sofa. I’m trying to contemplate whether to battle with the Beast from the East and go out for a run, or just let it be.
Yesterday evening, before my taste-buds completely died, I baked a really lovely rhubarb crumble, which is actually just the kind of thing you want to eat when it’s minus degrees outside.
Rhubarb is a relatively new discovery for me. I was always highly suspicious of its vegetable-but-used-in-desserts nature. Then last summer, I picked some at the PYO Farm because it looked like it’d make a fun mini umbrella, and finished by guilt-buying it. It made a fabulous crumble and I was sold.
However, summer rhubarb is not the most photogenic shade of green, so when the pink forced rhubarb flooded the shops in January, I impetuously bought loads.
Crumble is always a good way of using up large amounts of fruit, and this one is a really pretty pink colour, and mouth-puckeringly tart. I adapted my usual fruit crumble recipe a little, mainly by switching the sugar for caster sugar, and throwing in some ginger instead of cinnamon. It might sound weird, but I’m just entranced at how pink rhubarb at this time of year is. It seems like some miracle of nature. Much like the Beast from the East, but much prettier, and less prone to causing national chaos.
I would have taken a photo, but at that point it was in a bowl covered in custard, and looked distinctly unappetising. Hopefully I’ll make it again soon and pop in a pic, but it was just too good not to share the recipe.
For the crumble:
- 150g plain flour
- 75g caster sugar
- 100g salted butter
For the fruit filling:
- 5-6 large sticks of rhubarb, chopped into chunks
- juice for 1/2 lemon
- around 50g caster sugar (adjust to taste, we like things quite tart chez nous)
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsbp cornflour
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. For the crumble, mix flour and sugar together, then rub in the butter till it looks like breadcrumbs.
In a ovenproof dish, mix the rhubarb chunks, lemon juice, sugar, ginger and cornflour, then sprinkle the crumble on top. Pop it in the oven and bake for around 40 minutes until the top is golden and the rhubarb bubblingly juicily away. Eat with lashings of custard.