I am starting to go back to my old recipes and update them, and what better place to start than with a crumble, or crisp as they would say in America?
A little curt!
When I was catering full-time in America, my blog was more of an ‘”aide memoire’, a place to jot down a recipe before I forgot what I had done. As a result my older posts are a little curt, with minimal instructions and take it or leave ounces (no cups or grammes). I am trying to be a little kinder and include instructions for everyone.
Crumble, or more precisely rhubarb crumble is my husband’s favourite dessert. As tomorrow, June 5th, is Denmark’s Constitution Day and Father’s Day, we have two very good reasons to have Rhubarb Crumble on the menu. And quite funny as my original post was for the 4th of July, American Independence Day!
Rhubarb was hard to get in America, so I used to buy it whenever I saw it in the stores. In Denmark, rhubarb is everywhere. They put it in yogurts and jams and lemonade and even Danish pastries.
I don’t know about the USA, but here in Denmark I can now buy plums, apricots, nectarines and bunches of rhubarb.
These soft fruits in Denmark are strictly seasonal and have only just started appearing in shops. I am so excited after months of apples and pears to be able to make a summer crumble again.
This really is a great recipe for whatever fruit you have to hand. As I find making decisions hard, I often use two different fruits. I only use one dish but fill half with, say, plums and the other half with rhubarb. In that whole ‘make hay while the sun shines’ sort of way, I suggest you lose no time and make a summer crumble!
Flour and Gluten Free Options
I like to replace half of my flour with oats, as I love the texture. If you do not have oats, you can just double the amount of flour. For those who are gluten free use only oats or replace the flour with a rice flour. You could also make the whole thing healthier by using wholemeal flour, although for me. That is a step too far!
The crumble mixture should not be too smooth, so stop mixing it when there are still some lumps in it. A perfect crumble has a pebbley top, with the fruit starting to bubble up from below.
Vanilla Sugar or Brown Sugar
I should say in ever recipe post that I put a vanilla pod in my sugar. The sugar takes on a lovely hint of vanilla, without having to resort to adding vanilla essence which I find can be overpowering. Just a thought.
I also sometimes switch out and use some type ofbrown sugar to sweeten the fruit or in the crumble. Be careful as brown sugar can sometimes give a very caramel taste which can fight with the fruit. I would probably not use anything other than white sugar with rhubarb.
Other ideas for fruit.
With so much lovely fruit around, I have also been making lots of fruit topped cakes and promise to write up that soon. If you can’t wait look at my recipe for upside down orange cake and use the polenta cake as a base, then top with fruit of your choice. Or check out my post on instagram @carolynsfabfood I have written a quick recipe there.
Or just poach a little extra fruit, add some water to it and keep it in the fridge. I am currently obsessed with natural yogurt, Greek or otherwise, or Skyr, the Icelandic equivalent. My new breakfast is some yogurt and some poached nectarines or Rhurbarb and strawberries. It is so good and perfect for this spectacular weather we are having. And guess what my husband had as his porridge topping today?
Original post with ingredients in cups and grammes!
Ok perhaps not the most appropriate dessert for the fourth of July, but I have not met a man who hasn’t loved this dessert, or proper pudding as we, the defeated Brits, would say.
My main motivation for making it however was the wonderful new heart-shaped casserole dish my mum sent me for my wedding anniversary. So cool, I love it. It is also so large that I use a double recipe to fill, which is why I put rhubarb and strawberries in one side and plums in the other. Apple and blackberries would also work beautifully.
- 10-12 stalks of rhubarb, trimmed and cut into inch pieces
- around twenty strawberries, topped and cut into halves or quarters depending on size
- sugar to taste
- punnet of plums,, apricots or nectarines de-stoned and cut into thick slices
- sugar to taste or
- four large apples plus sugar to taste
- fresh or frozen berries
- 4 ounces/115g/one stick/ of fairly cold butter
- 4 ounces/115g/1/2 cup of sugar
- 4 ounces/115g/ 3/4 cup of all- purpose or plain flour
- 4 ounces/115g/ just over a cup of jumbo oats ( if I don't have oats, I use muesli)
Preheat oven to 375F
To make the filling, put cut rhubarb or plums, or apples and berries in a shallow casserole dish.
Sprinkle with sugar, I have not given an exact measure as I simply sprinkle until it seems to be the right amount and I try to keep it as sparing as possible. Rhubarb, a tart fruit needs more sugar than the peaches and plums.
I use a microwave at this point and covering the dish with saran wrap I cook the fruit for three or four minutes until it has started to soften.
Add the strawberries to the rhubarb.
Ahh, I now have no microwave in Denmark. To make the filling a use a large skillet or frying pan. I add the fruit and sugar as before and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and the fruit softens.
I add all the ingredients for the crumble to my kitchen aid and mix until combined. You can do this by hand too and it is wonderfully satisfying. Sprinkle topping evenly over filling and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until you see the filling starting to bubble underneath. Serve with ice-cream or heavy cream or my new favourite, creme fraiche.
Reheats beautifully, and apparently, according to friend, doubles as a great breakfast food.
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