Garden To Table: How to Make Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

trio straw rhub

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.

20150615_102449Ingredients

  • 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

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Preheat oven to 400° F/ 200° C. Slice rhubarb sticks into quarters lengthwise then chop into bite sized bits.

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Wash strawberries and dice into bite size pieces, not too small.

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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.

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Measure all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine.

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Using knives, cut the butter into the dry mix until it starts to combine and form nugget-like clusters…

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…then continue mixing with your hands.  This step is messy, but necessary.  I don’t mind it.  Children love it.

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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.

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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 20150615_105608served 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

43 Comments

    • Oh, what I would do for some fresh peaches. Haven’t had them in years and years. The closest is nectarines, but not the same. Combined with apple sounds AMAZING! Now I’ve got peaches on the brain…must research where I can get some. My family would love peach and apple crumble. Thanks for the idea 🙂

      Like

    • I have used dozens of different fruits, combining two to seven or eight even. You can’t go wrong really. The crunchy topping is the pièce de résistance!

      I love the children in the kitchen! The more they learn the less I do. My eleven year old just made this crumble tonight completely on her own. Very helpful and everyone benefits 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great combo ! Love strawberries, there are some great varieties available at the moment. It’s amazing the difference in taste each variety has, we had some over the weekend that were very winey and had such a long taste to them – delicious !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now you’ve got me curious to try new varieties. Do you make wine from them? We have two different types, not even sure what they are. One is from cuttings from someone who moved off the island and another gifted to the children from the Easter Bunny (isn’t he clever?!) I must investigate new varieties. Thanks for the idea. 🙂

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  2. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Yum! Looks delicious. Crumble is a great favourite in our house too. Our strawberries not ripe yet but we did enjoy our rhubarb crumble the last few weekends and the way my kids like strawberries they are unlikely to get as far as the kitchen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like to think it’s somewhat healthy but there’s a tad bit of sugar in the topping. You could skip it, but it would really miss the flavour. And just to less healthify it, it’s of course best warm with ice cream vs. with yogurt– maybe frozen yogurt a healthy compromise?! Frozen yogurt not available here (that’s my excuse anyway!) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • You could grow rhubarb perhaps? Actually it grows itself, not much of an overstatement to say it might even thrive on neglect. Though, I know nothing about the climate in Viet Nam.
      I just spent the last half hour on your blog and really enjoyed all I read. Delighted to discover you and to connect.

      Like

      • That’s right – you can’t kill rhubarb with an axe, it is one of the roughest, toughest plants out there. I could probably grow it if I lived up in northern Viet Nam near China, but I live in Ho Chi Minh City in the south, nearer the Equator (it is a very long, narrow country). It would rot in our warm, wet conditions before I would get a crop.
        Rhubarb is actually native to North Asia – the Chinese have been using it as a medicinal plant for 3000 years. Rhubarb actually has a small role in the history of relations between China and Britain. When the British first sailed to China, the Emperor’s advisers did some research on the newcomers and they determined that the British weren’t a big military threat because they didn’t provide rhubarb to their navy and army (like the Chinese did) and theorized that the British would be too constipated and ill to fight well, China is all about gut health. Anyway, they were much more open to the British than they otherwise would have… until the Opium Wars that is.

        I love your blog too – my maternal Grandfather was from Árainn Mhór. You’re probably surrounded by my relatives. I was Skyping with my Mam the other day and I read a bit of it to her. She was born in Tuam and she loved hearing all the stuff about the potato growing and the weather, etc. She lives in Australia and misses the Irish food and climate and the like. All the things that most Irish people seem to run away from.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    This looks delicious. Can almost smell it baking in your kitchen. Love your helper! He’s growing into such a handsome lad (from his godmother). I will need some tutoring on how to create an account Melissa xo

    Liked by 1 person

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