Tuesday 11 June 2013

Rhubarb-Apple Crumble

Let's get ready to crumblllllllle!! No, seriously. Crumbles are a very easy and a delicious treat. You basically make a bowl of fruit mixture, a bowl of crumble, layer them in a dish and bake. I am a rhubarb fanatic and I always look forward to its brief availability at the markets this time of year. So I thought I would make a rhubarb crumble. If you're not aware, rhubarb looks like reddish celery and has a very tart and bitter flavour (not to mention poisonous, inedible leaves). It's simply unbearable raw and on its own. Although, through the magic of sugar and cooking, it turns into something phenomenal. It becomes mellow, sweet and disintegrates into a jammy consistency. It still retains a little tartness but no bitterness at all. It's unbeliavable in desserts. A plain rhubarb crumble would be incredible, but rhubarb is usually paired with another sweet fruit (strawberry is a very common pairing). I decided to mix with fresh apples. Apples on their own also make a great crumble, but since rhubarb is tart and a little sweet and apples are sweet and a little tart, I wanted to see how well they played with each other in this recipe. Not too surprisingly, it turned out fantastic!

In total you're going to want three cups of diced fruit. I chopped 2 apples and three ribs of rhubarb which gave me about that and an even mix of the two. I used a red apple and a green apple, but you can use whatever you want. Green apples are on the tarter side but bake very well and red apples typically hold their shape better when cooked. Yellow apples, while delicious in their own right, I've never found to cook very well. 


1st set:
3 cups (total) of diced rhubarb and apple (apples peeled and cored)
1 1/4 cups of golden (yellow) sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2nd set:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup cold butter, cubed
1 tsp of salt

Preheat your oven to 375 F/190 C.

Combine the 1st set of ingredients in a large bowl and toss together until well combined.

Combine the 2nd set of ingredients in a separate bowl. Break the butter up into the dry ingredients until you end up with a crumbly texture. A pastry cutter works best but you can alternate between two forks and clean hands. Just keep in mind that your hands are warmer than everything in the bowl and will melt the butter if you use them too much. 

Lightly grease a 9x13" baking dish. The one that I have doesn't look very nice so for presentation sake I just used two medium-sized round dishes. Make an even layer of the fruit mixture on the bottom and include any juices that have accumulated as well.

Top the fruit with an even layer of the crumble.

Place in the middle of your preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the fruity caramel is bubbling at the sides.

At this point it's going to look and smell so inviting but you must let it rest for a minimum of 20 minutes before serving. Unless you enjoy burning the first few layers of your mouth off. Crumble is best served just warm, but you can enjoy it cold. It's fine to eat just as is, but you could add some freshly whipped cream, a generous dollop of crème fraiche (even better) or, of course, the ultimate... vanilla ice cream...

The dessert of champions, I promise you that. Play around with this recipe and see what you can come up with. Crumbles are great any time of year. If you use fruit in their peak season then you can't lose. 

See you again soon,

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