What flavours remind you of your childhood? Strawberries and rhubarb are a perfect pairing of sweet and tart and my grandmother used them in pies all summer long back home in Maine. Surely it is a well-known combination, but I have never seen it on this side of the ocean.
I still like a good pie, but have resorted to crumble because it’s fun and easy for children to make and allows for more flavours to be added into the topping than plain crust would. And mostly because it’s quicker.
Both strawberries and rhubarb are in season now and fresh from our garden, but this recipe for crumble can be made with any fruit you like– mixed berries, apples, pears, currants, raisins or craisins, peaches or plums– any combination will do, fresh or frozen. Even the amount used is variable. It’s nice to balance the sweet and tart though.
As delicious as in-season fruit is, the star of this dish is the crunchy crumble topping. It’s quick, filling, and sumptuous warm or cold. Serve for dessert with ice cream or for breakfast with yogurt.
- 3 ¼ lbs/1500 g rhubarb
- 2 lb/1000 g strawberries
- ¼ c/85 g honey
- 1 ½ c/194 g wholemeal flour
- 1 ½ c/187 g plain flour
- 1 ½ c/130 g rolled oats
- ½ c/35 g shredded coconut
- ½ c/60 g walnuts, chopped
- ¼ c/55 g dk brown sugar
- ¼ c/50 g wh sugar
- 1 c/227 g softened butter, cubed
Preheat oven to 400° F/ 200° C. Slice rhubarb sticks into quarters lengthwise then chop into bite sized bits.
Wash strawberries and dice into bite size pieces, not too small.
Put into 13″ x 9″ baking dish and stir in honey– this is optional– I use honey with rhubarb to cut the tartness a bit.
Measure all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine.
Using knives, cut the butter into the dry mix until it starts to combine and form nugget-like clusters…
…then continue mixing with your hands. This step is messy, but necessary. I don’t mind it. Children love it.
Grab handfuls and squeeze/roll it with fingers until nuggets form from the combined butter and dry ingredients. Nuggets should range between breadcrumb size up to 1″. This will only take a few minutes.
It looks about finished and ready to join the fruit. Pour it atop and spread across fruit evenly. Make a few more well placed nuggets if you like.
Bake in the middle of the oven. Check after 20 minutes. It’s ready when the fruit is bubbling around the edges and the topping is golden. Depending on type and size of fruit used (blueberries cook quicker than apples), the topping may cook before the fruit is ready. Therefore, tent with foil if needed to avoid burning. I have never needed more than 30 to 35 minutes total cooking time.
This is not the greatest shot of the finished crumble. It was served yesterday to the students and teachers after they planted their pumpkins. This was the last serving and I literally took it from one of the teachers hands when I realized I had no picture of it out of the oven– thank you Louise and sorry for my bad manners :). I will post some pics of the children planting later in the week.
This recipe has been requested many times. I hope you enjoy it and maybe even get creative with your own fruit and topping ingredients. If so, let me know. Enjoy! Melissa Xx