I love crumble. A decent crumble is a series of contrasts. Texture, taste, tone – all three are complemented by the addition of a bit of creme fraiche which brings temperature and luxury to the party. My grumble with crumble is that so many of them skimp on the crumble and don’t do contrast. If you make a crumble with rhubarb and ginger, you can afford to leave the base mixture pretty tart. To contrast that, the crumble can be nice and sweet. The crumble has to crumble too. That could be another grumble.
So, when I’m making a rhubarb crumble, I make lots of crumble. If you are adventurous enough, you will see the wisdom of using jumbo oats in the mixture too. A crumble is a real crowd pleaser. Don’t over-sweeten it.
- 220 gms of flour
- 160 gms of jumbo oats
- 160 gms of brown sugar (see side note)
- 160 gms of butter
- 10 stalks of rhubarb
- 20 gms or so of additional sugar for the rhubarb
- 8cm / 3″ piece of root ginger
Slice the ginger up nice and small. I prefer to leave it cut into small pieces rather than mincing it for this as I like the little ‘heat surprises’ that they add to proceedings. Slice the rhubarb as shown in the top picture. Add it, the ginger and some sugar to a saucepan.
Add a splash of water and place it on a medium heat. Simmer it until the rhubarb is broken down somewhat. Don’t wait until it becomes a complete mush. I might have let it go a minute or two too long. No harm done.
While the rhubarb is stewing away, filling your home with delightful aromas, mix the sugar, oats and flour. Chop up and blend in the butter.
When you are finished, your hands will be covered in a very snack-worthy mixture. The crumble mixture will mostly be in the bowl.
Side note on sugar: I nearly forgot to do my side note. If you are lucky enough to have a range of brown sugars in your press, use dark Muscovado sugar for this recipe. It has a lovely richness and adds to the range of contrasts in the dish.
Place the rhubarb mixture in a roasting dish. Let it cool. Pour the crumble mixture over. Put the lot in a 180ºC/350ºF oven for twenty five minutes. The top of the crumble will have gone a nice golden colour. This will be a lovely contrast of the stuff I mentioned at the beginning of this post. If you do that, you will not have a crumble grumble. Give it a go.