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Rhubarb Crumble

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As so often happens in the countryside, a friendly neighbour is faced with a glut of some harvest or other and you end up with a gratefully received carrier bag of fresh fruit or veg.  In this case one of the lady embroiderers in the workshop next to my husband Steve kindly left him with four massive stems of rhubarb with the promise that ‘there’s more of where that came from!’

I follow this simple recipe for rhubarb crumble.


500g rhubarb

100g golden caster sugar

140g self-raising flour

85g chilled butter

50g light brown muscovado sugar



Rhubarb leaves are toxic if eaten, but the ruby-red stems are quite safe and delicious when cooked.

Chop the rhubarb into 1cm lengths along the stem and wash under a running tap.  Add the rhubarb to a large pan with 100g golden caster sugar.  I found that the excess water from washing the rhubarb and the juice from the rhubarb itself was enough to cook the rhubarb.  You can add 3 tbsp of port at this stage if you are partial to it, but I’m not a drinker so I left this out.  I suppose you could add 3tbsp of whatever other alcoholic drink you are partial to as an experiement!  Brandy or whisky perhaps…


Rhubarb crumble


Simmer the rhubarb on a low heat and after about 20 minutes it will have broken down a little.  While you are doing this you can easily make the crumble with time left to spare.

Take 140g of self-raising flour and 85g of chilled butter and rub together between your fingers.  Eventually the flour and butter will resemble breadcrumbs.  At this stage add 50g light brown muscovado sugar.  If you like nuts you can add 50g of chopped nuts at this stage too.


Rhubarb crumble


I drained off some of the juice from the rhubarb before putting the rest of it in an oven-proof dish and covering with the crumble topping.  It seemed a bit of a waste so next time I make it I’m going to keep the juice, add some agar agar and make jelly I think!

Put your crumble in a fan-assisted oven at 180°C for 20 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.  It’s gorgeous on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.  I love the juxtaposition of a hot crumble with cold ice-cream.  Yummylicious!


Rhubarb crumble


Other good candidates for crumble making are the classic apple and blackberry, plum and peach, and don’t even get me started on apple and raspberry……

Let me know if you enjoyed making – and eating – this!


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