Rhubarb, ginger and walnut crumble

Yesterday Irene made a crumble that was so delicious that she wanted to write it down so that she didn’t forget the quantities. The orange and ginger made the rhubarb really tasty, while the crumble was light yet crunchy thanks to the walnuts and demerara. The finished pudding looks really lush with the pink juices of the rhubarb bubbling up through the brown crumble. No photograph, alas, as we demolished it far too quickly!

It cheered us up and we can recommended it as a way of enjoying the early rhubarb and beating the winter blues. Quantities give 2-4 portions, depending on how hungry you are and what you eat beforehand.

  • 400g rhubarb
  • 1-2 heaped tbsps caster sugar
  • 1 orange
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 70g plain flour
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder (or use self-raising flour)
  • 35g butter
  • 40g light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 35g chopped walnuts

Juice the orange and peel off three good pieces of the zest. Peel and finely slice the ginger. Cut the rhubarb into 3cm lengths and put in a pan with the ginger, orange juice and zest. Add sugar to taste – we like it quite tart as a contrast to the sweet crumble topping. Bring slowly to a simmer and cook very gently until just tender, which should take no more than 10-15 minutes. Watch it carefully as it can overcook very quickly.

Mix the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Cut the cold butter into cubes and rub it in with cold fingers. Stir in the sugars and chopped nuts – the demerara adds crunch but you can just use light brown sugar if you prefer.

When you’re ready to bake the crumble, pre-heat the oven to 185 C fan. Spoon the rhubarb into a baking dish, leaving most of the juice behind. Sprinkle the crumble evenly on top and bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is crisp and brown and the rhubarb juices are bubbling up. Serve with cold cream or hot custard.

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