Strawberry and rhubarb crumble – a perfect end-of-summer pudding. English strawberries are still around and tasting delicious. The rhubarb season is in full swing – less of the pretty pink forced rhubarb, but full of flavour. Top it off with an almond crumble to add some texture and sweetness. Oh, and don’t forget lashings of cream – obligatory in our house!
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I’m a big fan of fruit crumbles. They’re easy to make and they’re a great way to get fruit into your family, especially useful if they’re a bit reluctant. This strawberry and rhubarb crumble is a lovely colour too, and the flaked almonds add a bit of texture. It’s really a rather superior crumble and one you could serve to guests and not feel that it’s ‘only a crumble’.
To be honest, I hadn’t intended to make a pudding at all. I bought the rhubarb to have a go at Rhubarb Gin. Unfortunately, I ordered about four times as much rhubarb as I wanted and was left with rather a lot. That’s the only downside to ordering groceries online – finger trouble. But the advantages are so much greater (less time, less temptation, no driving, no unpacking the car) that a few extra sticks of rhubarb now and again are a small price to pay.
As well as surplus rhubarb I had loads of strawberries. Well, they were on offer and I do love strawberries. Actually, it was a bit of a wrench to cook with them, but I conceded that even I would be hard-pushed to eat quite so many before they went off. Another good feature of cooking with strawberries is that if they are a bit soft it’s perfectly okay as you won’t notice in the crumble. It’s also quite a revelation to put strawberries in a cooked pudding. They don’t go mushy and dissolve as I had thought. In fact, it’s very easy to tell when you look at your bowl of pudding that this is a strawberry and rhubarb crumble. You can also use fresh strawberries in the winter, which taste better cooked than fresh.
I’ve used rosewater in this recipe to keep the hint of summer. It adds a very subtle flavour and I love it. The one I like is Steenbergs Rose Water. If you don’t have any, then use vanilla extract or orange flower water. With all these essences I think it’s really worth buying a good quality brand. They aren’t terribly expensive and you won’t use a lot at a time, but the quality definitely shows.
This is also an Everyday Cooks top dish as you can assemble it from the freezer. Freeze the rhubarb, washed and cut up (that’s where the rest of mine is) or buy frozen rhubarb. Buy a pack of frozen strawberries. Make 2-4 times the quantity of crumble and freeze in a plastic box or bag. This keeps well for at least a month. When you want to make your delicious strawberry and rhubarb crumble, just follow the instructions in the recipe.
Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble with Almonds
For the fruit mix
- 400 g rhubarb
- 600 g strawberries
- 4 teaspoons rosewater (or vanilla extract) (20ml)
- 60 g caster sugar
- 25 g ground almonds
For the crumble topping
- 120 g plain/all-purpose flour
- 80 g cold butter
- 80 g demerara sugar
- 100 g flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/ 200°C fan/ gas mark 7/ 425°F
For the fruit mix:
- Trim the rhubarb and cut into 2cm length pieces
- Cook the rhubarb in a saucepan over a low heat until it begins to soften. In the meantime:
- Hull the strawberries and cut large ones in half
For the crumble:
- Measure the flour into a large bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour with your fingersThe idea is to rub your thumbs along your finger tips from your little fingers outwards. Otherwise, use a processor.
- When the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs stir in the demerara sugar and flaked almonds
To assemble the Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble:
- When the rhubarb is soft take the pan off the heat. Mix in the strawberries, rosewater, caster sugar, and ground almonds
- Put the fruit mixture into the pie dish. Pour the crumble over the fruit and level the top with a spoon or a knife
- Cook for about 35 minutes, The crumble will be a pale gold colour and some of the fruit juice will be bubbling up into it
- Serve with custard or cream
Everyday Cooks tips:
- Serve hot or cold. The crumble will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, covered with foil or cling film
- Make at least double quantities of the crumble mix and freeze the rest in a plastic bag or box. It keeps well for at least a month.