Rhubarb reminds me of my Gran, she loved it. I know it is good for the digestion (and it makes you go) and I simply love it in a Deslushious comforting crumble, preferably with ooodles of custard and maybe a dollop of vanilla ice cream or some nice thick cream or all three.
My attempts to grow it have come to nothing but I’m told when it grows it is voracious (in other words it grows enthusiastically). A bit like me and this blog!
So today’s recipe is for roasted rhubarb and as I don’t fancy making a pie and I love a crumble I’ve settled for crumble pie. I’ve made several so I can freeze them but I’m guessing you could just make a large one.
Rhubarb is a vegetable – it is naturally quite sour and a bit stringy – stay with me, stay with me! You need to be careful as you sweeten it (or so my research tells me) but I used 3 tablespoons of sugar to 1kg rhubarb, with a teaspoon of ginger and the juice of one lemon. You can drizzle with honey instead of adding sugar. It makes a nice fresh compote with natural yoghurt and you have a healthy breakfast especially if you add a sprinkle of my granola (check out the recipe roll).
My mother is diabetic and she mixes it with apple to sweeten it.
Oh and by the way – the leaves are poisonous so don’t eat them!
To make the crumble-pies
First make the compote (you can always do this the day before before you make the pies and keep it in the fridge or freeze it alternatively use tinned rhubarb):
1 Kg rhubarb, 3 tablespoons of soft brown sugar, 1 tsp ground ginger and the juice of a lemon.
Cut the rhubarb into chunks and place in a shallow baking dish together with the ginger and sugar. Add the juice of a lemon and mix it together. Then pop into the oven for about 30 minutes on a medium heat. When you can squash the rhubarb with the back of a spoon easily it is ready. Take it out of the oven and let it cool slightly.
Pop it into a sieve over a large bowl and strain off the juice. You can use it to make a butter-cream icing for cupcakes!
To make the pastry (shortcrust):
100g unsalted butter
200g plain flour
2 tablespoons ice-cold chilled water
To make the pastry sift the flour into a bowl, add the cold diced butter (it must be cold, not room temperature!). Rub the butter into the flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs – then using a round bladed knife (butter knife) stir in a little bit of the water at a time until you can bring the pastry together to form a ball. cover in cling-film and place it into the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Don’t skip this bit! You don’t want soft overly pliable dough!
After you have done this roll the dough out thinly and line your tart cases (I used mini-tart cases from Wilko’s £1:00 for 20). Place spoonfuls of the rhubarb mixture into the tarts and put them into the fridge whilst you make the crumble mix.
To make the crumble topping:
Take 50g unsalted butter (cold) and cut it into small cubes. Weigh out 70 g plain flour and 30 g raw porridge oats (or you can just use 100g flour). Mix in 30g soft brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of ginger. Now using your fingers rub the flour and oats into the butter until you have a crumb-like mixture. If you want it to be slightly nutty add a handful of chopped mixed nuts.
Sprinkle spoonfuls of this mixture on the top of your pie/ mini tarts. Bake in a preheated oven (gas mark 6, 190C, 375 F) for 20 minutes or until golden brown.