Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb Crumble is one of the few desserts – well, foods really – that my friend Michael remembers with pleasure from his Welsh childhood.  His mother used to make it with the traditional concrete-like pastry topping; I make it with a tender gluten-free pastry, and Michael is kind enough to enjoy it anyway!  Of course, you can use any fruit in season, or even bottled peaches or pears, but I love the sweetness of the strawberries with the tartness of rhubarb… plus they are both in season at the same time.

Prep time is ten minutes, wait time is 3-4 hours, baking time is 30-40 minutes.  This quantity serves four, and keeps well in the fridge overnight.  You can also make double the topping and freeze half for another day.  By the way — sorry there isn’t a picture, but we ate it all before it occurred to me to post the recipe!

Note: All measurements are in grams, because precision and proportions count when you’re cooking.  Use an electronic scale that gives weights in both grams and ounces.

Ingredients:

300-400g (six slender or three fat stems) fresh rhubarb
250g fresh strawberries – about half a pound
15-25g (1-2 Tbsp) organic sugar and [optional] a drop of crème de cassis for maceration
130g (one cup) bread gluten-free all-purpose flour
115g (one stick or 4 oz) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small chunks
100g (1/2 cup) organic sugar
Generous pinch of salt
Up to 50g plant milk if required to moisten the crumble

8” diameter round casserole or soufflé ramekin – 1½ to 2 quart capacity

Method:

Cut the rhubarb into 1” pieces; trim the strawberries and cut into chunks.  Place them together in a medium bowl; sprinkle with the first lot of sugar and (if used) the crème de cassis or other fruit liqueur.  Cover and set aside for 3-4 hours to macerate and develop some juice.

Place the other ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture looks like rolled oats.  Add about 50g plant milk and pulse again until the mixture starts to clump together just a little bit.  Taste, and add more sugar as required. You should just taste the sweetness.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175*C).

Spread the macerated fruit in the bottom of the ramekin or baking dish.  Sprinkle the flour and butter mixture over the top and smooth it out.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the fruit juice is bubbling up from underneath and you can smell the pastry, which should just be getting brown on top.  This recipe is pretty forgiving in terms of baking times.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving in bowls with cream or English custard (if desired).

Here is a printable file for the Crumble.

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