Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rhubarb and strawberry crumble

Hello everyone, I took my nieces to the Sydney Writers Festival last weekend which was fun. It was a freezing cold day though and we were right on the water, so when we came out of the first session we headed straight to the cafe to order three hot chocolates. I'm often wary of cakes and sweets on offer at big events as they invariably taste mass made, but this place had beautiful plates and tiered stands displaying what looked to be very home made goods - as if it was a fete! The girls quickly settled on a moist and chewy looking square of chocolate brownie to share (they are very small eaters), and I was particularly intrigued to see a plate of afghans, the chocolate biscuits that my Nana used to make and which I make regularly too. They were enormous, much bigger than I make them, and delicious. Very authentic and home made. So well done to that little cafe at Wharf 2/3!

Now I was going to give you a completely different recipe today but I heard on the radio this morning that there are some beautiful strawberries about, and rhubarb is very good at this time of year too. Early subscribers to my recipe service already received this recipe last year, but it didn't come over in the transition to the blog so here it is for everyone. I'm not quite sure from where I found the recipe - it is one that I cut out and stuck into my recipe scrapbook. It could well be from Good Living in the SMH. If you have never cooked rhubarb before, now's the time to try it. It's easy and delicious and is also great cooked up with pie apple or apricots to have with porridge and yoghurt for breakfast.

Have a lovely week, love from Jane

Rhubarb and strawberry crumble

Serves 4 to 6

Admittedly when I first made this luscious crumble I quadrupled the quantities as I was cooking for a crowd, but I was a little alarmed at just how much butter and sugar there was and I did find the crumble quite sweet. I have kept the original quantities from the recipe I used here but will probably reduce the butter and sugar next time I make it. So bear that in mind when you cook it for the first time.

What you need:
· 75g butter
· 165g caster sugar
· 1 large bunch rhubarb (about 600g), leaves chopped off, stems chopped into 3cm pieces and washed
· 1 punnet strawberries, hulled and halved

For the topping:
· 75g self raising flour
· 100g brown sugar
· 45g rolled oats
· 40g flaked almonds
· 100g butter, chopped

What you do:
1. Melt the butter and caster sugar in a large, heavy based saucepan.
2. Add the rhubarb and cook over a low heat for five minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Remove from the heat, stir in the strawberries and cool.
4. Combine all the topping ingredients except for the butter in a bowl.
5. Rub the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
6. Spoon the rhubarb and strawberries into a medium, lightly oiled ovenproof dish and spread the crumble mix evenly over the top.
7. Bake at 180C for 20 to 30 minutes or until the crumble is golden and bubbling.
8. Serve with homemade custard or thick cream or icecream. Or all three.