Sunday, 15 June 2014

Grain Free Rhubarb Crumble GF SCD

Vegan Grain and Gluten Free Rhubarb Crumble

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.

Grain Free Rhubarb Crumble

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 ...

Forced Rhubarb

... 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.

Chopped Rhubarb

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.

Grain Free Rhubarb Crumble

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  1. This looks delicious, Vicky! I have a few rhubarb plants; I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to harvest them yet this year though. The plants are still young and are trying to establish themselves. I hope to buy some maybe from a local farmer though. It's so good! ;)

    1. Thank you Megan! I actually don't know a thing about growing rhubarb myself, I did want to buy a couple of plants this year but we're working on the soil still (though I believe they're easy to establish). It tends to grow really easily around here, the soil must just be perfect - apart from ours which is so difficult to work with!

  2. I love rhubarb! I've never made anything with it but I do love rhubarb pie. Can't wait to try your recipe! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. I hope you enjoy it Lauren. If you make the topping separately, it not only makes it easier, it's also quicker too AND the topping stays crisp!

      Thank you for your comment!

  3. My Dad used to grow rhubarb at the bottom of our garden and I was always 'wowed' by the size of the leaves. I absolutely adored my mum's stewed rhubarb and would happily eat bowls of it either on its own or with some yoghurt mixed in. However, the ultimate way to enjoy it was with crumble topping. The crumble soaks up some of the juice and it tastes so good!!
    Thank you so much for bringing back such fond memories for me. I've never made a rhubarb crumble myself but I think it's high time I did! I'm going to pin your recipe and check the farmer's market this weekend for rhubarb :D xx

    1. The leaves are quite enormous aren't they - yes, I remember thinking that as a child. It's funny how certain foods brings back so many wonderful memories xo

  4. Love rhubarb crumble - it just says summer to me! Your version looks delicious, Vicky and I love how special diet and allergy friendly it is too. I'll be featuring this post in my Hearth and Soul post this week :-)

    1. Thank you April, so lovely of you. You must try making this if you have the time because it is so low on sugar yet sweet and nutty, I was quite surprised when I first made the topping.

  5. I had a rhubarb puree on coconut ice cream earlier and it was so delicious when pureed but I don’t like when they look like celery-like chunks in cakes or loaves (ya know what i mean…). But that rhubarb crumble of yours looks yum! Gosh, I have never made a crumble before but had them in the UK (soooo goooood)…I would need to make some, maybe during the cold days. It’s uncomfortably hot right now here in Oregon ;(

    1. Your rhubarb puree on ice cream sounds so delicious. I agree the chunks are a bit weird, I definitely like it best when it's well cooked.

      Crumble is our favourite pudding, whatever the fruit and I wish it was hot here, crumble suits us all the year round!