rhubarb raspberry rye crumble

28th April 2016

rhubarb raspberry rye crumble

I love how the Rhubarb plant emerges out of nowhere, uncurling from the ground into huge umbrella-like leaves and vibrant stalks that are a welcome sight in a garden when it is in the in-between season stage.

A few tips when harvesting rhubarb :

Rhubarb is mostly harvested in Spring and early summer.  The stalks are crisp and tastier earlier on; as the season progresses stalks become woody and tough.

I recommend not to harvest any stalks during the first years growing season, to allow your plants to become established.  By the second year harvest for a week or two, and by the third year you can harvest for an 8 – 10 week season.  To keep the plant strong, pick a few stalks at a time, as you need them, and pick when they are 12 to 18 inches long, always leaving at least 2 stalks per plant to ensure continued production.

To harvest, tug each stalk downwards with a gentle twist at the base of the stalk rather than cutting it.  Be sure to compost or discard the leaves as they are poisonous and should never be eaten.

rhubarb leafrhubarbrhubarb stems

In Ayurvedic Medicine, rhubarb is often given to children and the elderly in combination with ginger root for stomach troubles of all kinds. It has astringent properties which tone the gut and helps remove waste while the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities help in healing an inflamed intestine.

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rhubarb raspberry rye crumble

Recipe from Tara O´brady – Seven Spoons

Serves 8 – 10

`There does appear to be a lot of sugar; both raspberry & rhubarb are sour, and the amount of sugar keeps it all in balance´.  The original recipe uses tapioca flour; I found better results with corn flour.  I have also made this using half the rhubarb and replacing with apple, the results were also delicious.  By far the best fruit crumble I have made to date and has become a favourite.  As requested by certain family members I increased the streusel topping.  Nothing beats the rich, heady scent of baking raspberries that will fill your kitchen.

streusel topping :

¾ cup (172g) unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup (150g) light brown sugar

¾ tsp fine-grain rock salt

1 ½ cup (165g) old-fashioned rolled oats

¾ cup (97g)all-purpose flour

½ cup (75g) rye flour

¼ cup plus 2 Tblsp flaked almonds

¾ tsp cardamom powder

filling :

900g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1 cm pieces

565g raspberries, fresh or frozen

juice from ½ lemon

¾ cup (150g) light brown sugar

¼ cup corn flour/tapioca flour

¼ tsp fine-grain rock salt

1 vanilla bean

Preheat oven to 190 C/375 F.  Grease a  13 x 6 – inch baking dish with butter.

to make the topping :

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn the speed to low.  Sprinkle in the oats, flours, almonds, and cardamom; let the machine run until the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture starts to gather into a rough streusel, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Keep in a cool spot or covered in the fridge while you organise the filling.

A few times I made this the streusel topping became quite doughy rather than flakey when mixing; it wasn´t a problem as once it sits in the fridge for a bit it is easy to break up with the fingers and crumble over the top.

to make the filling :

In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, raspberries, lemon juice, sugar, corn flour, and salt.  Split the vanilla bean down its length, scrape the seeds into the bowl, and then add the pod as well.  Fold everything until the cornflour disappears.

rhubarb filling

Tip the fruit into the prepared baking dish, including any collected juices.  With clean hands, crumble the streusel over the filling, in haphazard and uneven heaps.

Place the dish on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the juices are gurgling with large bubbles and the topping is golden brown, 50 minutes or thereabouts.

Cool on a rack for 30 minutes before considering eating.  Serve warm or cold, with vanilla ice cream or thick yoghurt.

rhubarb

Goodness shared from Stacey

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