The good old rhubarb crumble, the stuff of childhood, school dinners and comfort. No wonder it is a stalwart of British puddings. In this roasted rhubarb crumble it's had a little makeover to bring it into the 21st century and to open it up to those whose memory of the pudding is stodge.
Traditionally the rhubarb would be stewed but in this recipe, it is roasted in the oven with a little orange juice and vanilla. Roasting helps the rhubarb to keep its beautiful colour and also intensifies the flavour creating a delicious and memorable pudding. Serve the crumble with lashings of custard or vanilla ice cream if the weather is a little warmer.
- 450g (1 lb) young forced rhubarb - see note below
- 2 tablespoons soft, brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon orange juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- For The Crumble:
- 115g (4oz)cold butter
- 170g (6 oz) plain flour / all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoon soft brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 175C/350F/Gas 4
- Cut the rhubarb into 3cm )1") pieces. Place the rhubarb into an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the sugar over. Mix the vanilla extract with the orange juice and pour over the rhubarb, loosely cover with tin foil.
- Bake in the preheated oven for approx 15 minutes or until the rhubarb is cooked through but not falling apart. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- While the crumble is cooling, place all the crumble ingredients into a large baking bowl and roughly mash together to form lumpy crumbs. Do not worry about making the mixture even and fine; you are looking for a rustic looking topping, an over-mixed crumble topping will not only look too fine, but it also will not be as crisp as the more rustic.
- Pop the crumble mix into the refrigerator to cool down for 5 - 10 minutes. You can even make the crumble in advance and freeze it and use directly from the freezer.
- Sprinkle the crumble loosely over the cooked rhubarb. Return the dish to the oven and cook for 30 - 35 minutes until the crumble is golden brown. Serve hot with custard sauce or vanilla ice cream.
You can also cook as individual puddings in ramekin dishes.
Which Rhubarb is Best for a Crumble?
This recipe works best with Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb which is in season from late December to the end of March but there is no reason you cannot use outdoor summer rhubarb, just endure the stalks are young and fresh, the thick older varieties may be a little woody and will not roast.
Other crumbles recipes where the rhubarb is stewed can use either.
The telling sign of fresh rhubarb is not only its bright colour; the stalks should be firm and upright, the leaves a pale yellow never black.