Fruit crumble is the ultimate winter pudding. Sweet, stewed fruit topped with crunchy crumble topping and drowned in creamy custard. It’s a party in your mouth, and all the best flavours and textures are invited. Growing up, our crumbles were always apple & blackberry flavoured, occasionally with blackberries that we’d picked ourselves. Blackberrying with my Dad is one of my favourite childhood memories, and I keep meaning to go again every year. Be a darling and remind me of that at the end of summer, would you? We would come back with a glut of those purple gems, with pricked fingers and ruddy cheeks, like we’d walked straight out of an Enid Blyton novel, and they would get frozen and used for crumbles all winter long.
This crumble, however, is made with a fruit I avoided for years. As a child I would often take a dislike to something on sight, with no rhyme or reason behind it, and would refuse all iterations of it out of stubbornness. More often than not, those once hated foods have now become my favourites – asparagus is one of them, rhubarb the other. Rhubarb is a glorious thing, and since Yorkshire is home to some of the UK’s greatest rhubarb, this crumble was a natural progression. Incidentally, although we spent all that time making apple crumbles, my Dad actually loves rhubarb. I’ll probably make this for him soon enough; rhubarbs are in season right now and I can’t get enough of those wonderfully tart, beautifully pink stalks. I urge you to go out and get yourself some, and bake it into this crumble. The little hint of heat from the ginger is a dream, I assure you.
- 400g rhubarb, chopped into 1-2cm chunks
- 80g caster sugar
- juice of 1/2 orange
- 2 pieces of stem ginger, finely chopped
- 80g plain flour
- 80g unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes
- 60g oats
- 50g light brown sugar
- Put the rhubarb, sugar, orange juice & chopped ginger into a saucepan. Simmer over a low heat for around 15 minutes until the rhubarb has softened but not entirely lost its shape. Taste and add some extra sugar if it's too tart for you.
- Drain most of the liquid and transfer the fruit to a baking dish.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- In a mixing bowl, rub together the flour and butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir through the sugar and oats until everything is combined. Pour the crumble on top of the fruit and level out so it's an even layer.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the topping is golden brown.
- Serve with custard or double cream.