It was Fathers Day in the UK yesterday so i’d planned to use the Rhubarb from Father-in-laws’ garden plus some i’d picked up from the supermarket to do a crumble. I’ve made crumbles before and love them, so had planned to try a new Nigella Lawson recipe which is in her book Feast but, thanks to TheYoungLady having a protracted tantrum which meant i didn’t start preparing the rhubarb until over an hour later than planned, so reverted back to a Delia Smith recipe i’ve made before. I know – so, not strictly one new recipe this week but it was the most successful crumble i think i’ve ever made (of the handful i’ve done!) and i was really pleased with it. TheYoungLady helped make the crumble mix and even ate some too (though decided she didn’t like the custard…what?). If you’ve never come across Delia Smith before, she is basically your mum, but with every recipe under the sun. Her cooking is pretty failsafe, not overly complicated and accessible. My mum bought me the Complete Cookery Course when i went away to University. I never used it then of course but find myself going back to it regularly (even for basic things like white sauce) now all the time.
Recipe for Basic Crumble Topping and Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble taken from Delia Smith’s classic Complete Cookery Course (Classic edition). I used the topping variation with oats but have included the basic and variations here. Serve with your choice of custard, ice cream, yoghurt etc (we went with custard this time). After baking, i left mine in the top oven for the afternoon and the crumble topping settled to a lovely oaty, crisp crust. Delicious. My comments in italics.
Basic Crumble Topping (Serves 6 people – ahem – or fewer people who just happen to love crumble)
8oz plain or wholewheat flour (225g)
3oz butter (75g) at room temperature – i used half fat butter-like spread (Flora)
3-4oz soft brown sugar (75-110g), according to taste – i used 2oz soft brown sugar and 2oz demerera
Pre-hear the oven to gas mark 4, 350F (180C).
Place the flour in a large mixing bowl, then add the butter and rub it into the flour lightly, using your fingertips. Then when it all lookscrumbly and the fat has been dispersed firly evenly, add the sugar and combine that well with the rest. (i combined it all at the same time but thats because i don’t read recipes properly)
Now sprinkle the crumble mixture all over the fruit in a pie-dish or shallow gratin dish, spreading it out with a fork. Place the crumble on a high shelf in the oven and bake it for 30-40 minutes or until the top is tinged with brown.
Variations on the crumble topping
1) Instead of all flour use 4oz (110g) wholewheat flour and 4oz (110g) jumbo or porridge oats (i used half plain flour and half porridge oats).
2) Instead of all flour use 4oz (110g) wholewhat flour and 4oz (110g) unsweetened muesli
3) For a nut crumble topping, use 6oz (175g) wholewheat flour and 3oz (75g) chopped nuts. You will need to use only 3oz (75g) of soft brown sugar with the 3oz (75g) of butter.
Rhubarb and ginger crumble
Use 2lb (900g) rhubarb (i had about 800g and added an apple and a half to get up to 900g), 3oz (75g) soft brown sugar and 1 level teaspoon ground ginger.
Cut the rhubarb into chunks, then place in a saucepan together with the sugar and the ginger. Cook over a gentle heat (covered) for about 15 minutes (mine was done in a about 8 minutes but i was on a high heat – duh!) stirring to get the uncooked pieces at the top down into the heat. Try not to overcook it though – it should be chuncky, not mushy. When it’s cooked, drain off about half the juice (i kept this syrup – well what was left after daughter kept eating it – to drizzle over yoghurt) then transfer the fruit to a pie-dish, sprinkle with a crumble topping and bake for 30-40 minutes.