Rhubarb/Raspberry Crumble

My garden has a rhubarb hill, long-established raspberry canes and a redcurrant bush. One time, around the beginning of July, I had these leftover, half-broken Italian wafer cookies lying around. This crumble then materialized, as if it was suggested by the people who had the garden long ago and by my friend who forgot the cookies at the event she had brought them to.

I hope you can come to a similar equation with whatever fruit you have access to, and either make this crumble or a very different one in the same spirit.

fruit

  • 4 or 5 stalks of rhubarb
  • 2 large handfuls of raspberries (frozen works just fine! This is a great way to get rid of hoarded fruit from the previous year before the new batch comes in)
  • 1 normal handful of redcurrants, top & tailed (optional/only really possible in July. It will work well with with small strawberries or cherries, in May and June)

crumble

  • 100g butter (I first got this from recipes in English cookbooks that often have 100g of butter in crumble tops. This is like 5/6s of a stick. Take the part you slice off, break it into bits, and tuck it in around the fruit.)
  • oats
  • flour (any kind! Your favorite GF flour will work great!)
  • almond meal or almonds you grind yourself
  • sugar
  • a few crumbled wafer-y cookies (another opportunity for your favorite GF alternative!)
  • cold water

and more

  • sugar—about 1/4 cup on the inside, plus more for serving
  • lyle's golden syrup, honey, agave, something like that—a healthy drizzle

Cut, wash and trim the rhubarb. If you are making this recipe at the height of the season, when all three of these fruits can be fresh, your rhubarb has likely been around for awhile. If the outside is tough, peel it with a vegetable peeler. Place the pieces of rhubarb, cut to about 4 inches long each, in your baking dish. Really, with a crumble, precise measurements are unnecessary. Just choose a dish you want to make it in, and include enough fruit to fill it.

Take one handful of raspberries, and crush them in your hand. Scrape the berries off with a rubber spatula, and onto the rhubarb.

Scatter the sugar around the edges and on top. Drizzle the syrup on as well. Tuck in the small pieces of butter.

In a food processor, assemble: butter (cut into pieces) oats, flour, sugar, almond meal (or almonds) and wafer cookies (saving one for the top). Pulse a few times until the butter is cut up and pebbles have formed. Add a tablespoon or two of cold water and shake the mixture until pebbles really form.

Tip the mixture from the food processor over the fruit. Take the second handful of raspberries and scatter them throughout the crumble. This will cause them to burst appetizingly into the crust. Crack the final pizzelle over the top of the crumble.

Bake at 350º for 50 minutes.

If the crumble isn't browning, take another slice of butter and break it up over the top. Return the pan to the oven for about 10-15 more minutes, until the rhubarb has started to bubble up around the edges.

Drop the raw red currants around the crisped-up wafer cookie pieces. Serve at the table with extra sugar. Keeping the crumble nice and tart, but having the option to sweeten up some bites, is a more enjoyable eating experience than all-tart or all-sweet. Pretend you are a child at the breakfast table, adding sugar to the top of a cut grapefruit.

Recipe courtesy of Andrew Barton, photo credits Peter Schweitzer.