Made with beautiful forced rhubarb teamed with complementary stem ginger, this traditional rhubarb and ginger crumble dessert is perfect for welcoming in the new season though still being comforting on the colder evenings.
Oh Spring, how wonderful it is to welcome you back, it’s been so many months since last we met. How I love your lengthening days and warmer temperatures, with your promise of good things to come. I’m not alone in loving you, Spring, for the flowers begin to grow, exposing their delicate petals and feminine colours every time that you’re around. And for the mammal and bird communities, their thoughts soon move onto bringing forth their next generation, happy for you, Spring, to cradle their precious babies in your arms. Oh Spring, you’re my favourite season.
As spring has sprung, meteorologically speaking, though you’d never know it with how chilly it is of late, I wanted to mark the occasion with something seasonal. Tender and beautifully coloured stems of forced rhubarb are now in the shops I decided to go with that.
Forced rhubarb has been granted Protected Designation of Origin by the European Commission and so carries the same status as Champagne, Stilton cheese and Melton Mowbray Pork Pies. It is quite different to that which is grown on allotments across the country later in the year. It has a beautiful pink colour, and is far more tender and sweeter.
The forced plant is grown in darkened sheds known as ‘forcing sheds’ found in the Rhubarb Triangle in Yorkshire (to the north-east of the UK). To maintain that darkness it is picked by candlelight. Should you have the opportunity to enter a forcing shed as the rhizomes begin to grow you will hear an enormous amount of ‘popping’. This is actually the rhubarb bursting, this ‘sound cloud’ has captured the noise if you fancy hearing the plant growing, it really is fascinating!
As well as welcoming spring with the use of rhubarb, I thought it only polite to say au revoir to winter. For me, the best way to do this was to make a crumble! Rhubarb crumble! Mmm crumble! It’s such a comforting and simple dessert to make, it certainly features amongst my favourite puddings.
As I say, it’s such a straightforward dessert to make and as such is great for the novice or young baker to tackle. The flour and cold butter is crumbled together to make fine breadcrumbs. Sugar is then stirred through the mixture. This crumble mixture can then be pimped up with the inclusion of nuts or seeds, though I must admit I’m fussy and don’t care for it that way. I like to add a handful of porridge oats to our crumble before spooning it over the prepared fruit and baking it.
In this case the fruit I used was rhubarb spiced with a little ginger, a flavour which complements rhubarb very well. Crumble can, of course, be made with many fruit fillings: apple; gooseberry; blackberry and apple to name just a few.
Crumble is comfort food and a little indulgence. As a family, we prefer a ‘full fat’ crumble rather than the healthier ones with barely any crumble topping. As a result this crumble has a generous amount of delicious topping to accompany the rhubarb spiked with ginger. I often made generous crumbles as a child to round off our weekend family meals – needless to say there was never any left!
Let’s make Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble
RHUBARB & GINGER CRUMBLE
Made with beautiful forced rhubarb teamed with complementary stem ginger, this traditional dessert is perfect for welcoming in the new season though still being comforting on the colder evenings.
For the crumble mixture
- 125 g self-raising flour (5oz)
- 60 g butter chilled, plus extra to grease (2½oz)
- 35 g caster sugar (1½oz)
- 25 g light muscovado sugar (1oz)
- 30 g porridge oats (1oz)
for the filling
- 250 g prepared rhubarb washed and ends trimmed (9oz)
- 1 small sweet eating apple
- 1 small piece stem ginger
- ¾ tsp arrowroot or cornflour
- 40 g caster sugar (1½oz)
- custard cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ (160℃ fan)/350°F/gas mark 4.
To make the crumble mixture
- Place the flour and chilled butter into a good sized bowl. Use a knife to cube the butter. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugars and porridge to the crumble mixture and stir together until well incorporated. Set aside.
to make the filling
- Cut the clean rhubarb stems into chunks about 3 – 4cm (1½ in)long. Peel, core & dice the apple. Finely chop the stem ginger and sprinkle with the arrowroot or cornflour and toss to coat the pieces. Toss the rhubarb, apple and ginger together ensuring that everything is well distributed.
- Lightly grease the inside of a baking dish Place the fruit into the dish. Sprinkle with the sugar. Carefully spoon the crumble mixture over the fruit.
- Place the dish onto a sided baking tray. This will capture any juices which may overspill during the cooking process bake in the centre of the oven for about 40 – 50 minutes.
- Enjoy, served with custard or a vanilla ice cream.
750ml (1 ¼ pt) baking dish (ours measured 18 x 12 x 6cm (7 x 5 x 3 in)
- If cooking with later season rhubarb (ie not forced) consider using a little more sugar to sweeten the fruit (forced rhubarb is naturally a little sweeter than that bought later in the year).
- The arrowroot / corn flour powder not only helps to separate the chopped stem ginger, but also helps to thicken the fruit juices which the rhubarb creates during the bake.
Serving: 1portion | Calories: 398kcal
Tried this recipe?I would love to know how you got on – Tag me on Instagram @OnlyCrumbsRemain or leave me a comment and rate the recipe below.
If you love rhubarb as much as we do, here are a few more rhubarb recipes by other UK food bloggers:
Puit’s D’Amour with Rhubarb Compote – Recipes Made Easy
Vanilla, Rhubarb & Ginger Trifle – Charlottes Lively Kitchen
Rhubarb Vanilla Buttermilk Cake – Lucy at Baking Queen 74
Rhubarb Cake with Elderflower Icing – Recipes Made Easy
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Bake of the Week co-hosted by Sarah from Maison Cupcake & Helen over at Casa Costello (this week hosted by Sarah)