My memories of rhubarb crumble go back a long, long time - back to my childhood and farm holidays in the south-west of England. Every year my parents would take us to Somerset, Devon or Cornwall and we would spend the first week on one farm and then pack up to go to another for the next. One of my clearest and fondest memories is being woken up at half past three in the morning to find my father at the bedroom door announcing it was time to get up and go on holiday, we were so excited. In those days there were no motorways and the journey could take anything from 12 to 14 hours in our little salmon pink Triumph Herald.
The reason I'm reminded is because at one of the farms in Devon we were often served rhubarb crumble and I can still clearly picture my father cringing as he took every mouthful. It was sour, very sour indeed and I haven't really gone out of my way to eat rhubarb since then ...
... which is shameful really considering we live pretty close to The Rhubarb Triangle. The rhubarb grown here is forced rhubarb, grown indoors to give it a deep pink colour and it's much sweeter than the traditional rhubarb grown outdoors. I recently read this interesting article which explains the history of Yorkshire rhubarb, why we've grown rhubarb in this area for such a long time and how and why it is so different from rhubarb grown elsewhere. And here are a few facts about rhubarb you may not know :
- the leaves are not edible, in fact they are poisonous
- the redder the rhubarb is, the sweeter it is
- it is a vegetable, even though it tends to be cooked as a fruit
- it has a very high water content
- it contains a moderate amount of Vitamins K, A & C and small amounts of thiamine, riboflavin, folate, niacin,Vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid.
- it is also a source of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, copper and selenium
This recipe serves 4 people and the amount of sweetener will depend on how sour the rhubarb is, I didn't use Yorkshire rhubarb in this crumble but I only needed about 2 tablespoons. I suggest you start with one or two depending on how pink your rhubarb, taste it and see if it needs more.
Rhubarb Crumble GF SCD
600 g rhubarb (about 6 cups chopped)
1 - 3 tblspns of honey or maple syrup
zest of one orange
1 tblspn fresh orange juice
Crumble Topping recipe from the blog (I used the optional bicarbonate of soda in the crumble pictured here)
You can fully stew the rhubarb on top of the stove and bake the crumble topping in the oven while you stew the fruit if you wish as suggested in the topping recipe. Actually this is my preferred method because the topping stays crisp and you can eat any that's left over with fruit or almond milk for breakfast. To bake in the oven follow all of the steps below.
- Set the oven to 160° C if baking in the oven
- Wash the rhubarb and cut into chunks
- Tip into a pan and add the honey (or maple syrup) orange zest and orange juice
- Cook over a low light stirring the fruit regularly until it release its juices
- If you are baking your crumble topping separately, cook the rhubarb for about 5 to 10 minutes until soft. Tip into a serving dish and add the baked crumble on top of the cooked fruit OR
- If you are going to bake this in the oven, tip the rhubarb into an oven proof dish when the rhubarb is starting to soften.
- Spread the uncooked crumble topping over the top
- Cover with foil or a lid
- Bake for 20 minutes then remove the lid and cook until the topping is golden.
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