Friday, September 29, 2017

Strawberry and rhubarb crumble

Strawberries have been super cheap these last few weeks. Anyone know a reason for this? I thought this meant they were currently in season, but a quick google tells me that between Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland there’s pretty much “strawbs” in season somewhere in the eastern states all year round.

From here we could launch into a conversation about buying in season, buying local and ensuring a fair price for the farmer – all of which are important issues, but it’s late on a Friday night and I’m single parenting three under three this weekend so let’s just talk dessert, ok?

For some, cheap strawberries means jam. I don’t have time for jam. Maybe one day, but in the meantime, cheap strawberries mean strawberry and rhubarb crumble.
If I’ve been to your hens party and was asked to provide a recipe, chances are you already have this one. It’s my go-to for bridal shower shares. Everyone loves a crumble (right?) and I like to think the strawberry and rhubarb filling makes this one just a little sexier. What’s more, it’s super easy to make and a lot of the prep can be done in advance. Sound like perfect dinner party material?

I can’t remember when I first started making this dish. It started out as “strawberry, rose geranium and rhubarb crumble” from The Good Weekend’s “Any fool can cook...” section. I think it was written by Matthew Evans but I can’t be sure. I still have the original clipping but my version is now considerably different. The original had very firm views on the crumble:

“This one doesn’t resemble a muesli topping, relying on coconut or rolled oats. It’s simpler, more classical and far better in my view.”

But somewhere along the lines I put the rolled oats back in. Does that make me a radical? I just like a bit more substance in my crumble. If you’re in the traditionalist camp, or any other crumble camp for that matter substitute in your own mix. The crumble here freezes well so you can whip up a dessert in a hurry and works just as well with a traditional apple filling (try 8 sliced red apples, 2 Tbsp sugar and juice of ½ a lemon instead of the fruit mix below).

Strawberry and rhubarb crumble

170 g plain flour
65 g self raising flour
170 g raw sugar
pinch salt
170 g softened butter
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 bunch rhubarb, chopped into 2-3 cm pieces
1 punnet strawberries, hulled and halved
2 Tbsp honey, warmed
1/2 tsp vanilla
A splash of rosewater

Combine flours, sugar, salt and 120 g of butter in the food processor until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add oats and pulse briefly to combine.

In a medium casserole dish, toss the rhubarb and strawberries with honey, vanilla and a splash of rosewater then press the mixture down.

Just before baking, sprinkle the crumble mixture over the fruit. Chop the remaining 50 g butter into small cubes and scatter across the crumble.

Bake in a 200 degree C oven for 30-40 minutes or until the top is browned.

Serves 4

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