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Home • Recipe • Traditional • Rhubarb Crumble
Published by Amy
I’ve always found rhubarb to be quite an underrated vegetable (yes, it is technically a vegetable – yes, I did just Google that to check!). Underrated even though it seems like every other garden in the UK has it growing in abundance. So what do you do with all that extra rhubarb in your garden, or from your well-meaning neighbour? Make rhubarb crumble of course!
I was actually given the rhubarb used in this recipe-testing and photo-taking from the garden of one of the boys best friends. Like many gardens in the UK, they inherited their rhubarb crops when they moved into their home. And like many people with rhubarb in their gardens, they get so much that they offer up bunches of the stuff to friends, family and neighbours every year.
We always had rhubarb in our garden growing up. I remember Papa tending to it proudly, Granny forever saying we had too much (but happily churning out rhubarb crumbles by the dozen), and me and my sisters constantly being reminded that we weren’t to let the pet rabbit anywhere near it; rhubarb is not good for rabbits apparently.
As a kid though, I wasn’t a fan. I always found rhubarb to be too sour; something the boys found too, when they tried their first taste of rhubarb crumble. A bit of a contrast to a lady I know telling me about how when she was a kid: her mother would give her a stick of rhubarb and a brown bag filled with sugar – dip the rhubarb in the sugar, gnaw on the rhubarb, and repeat…job’s a good ‘un!
I can just picture the dentist’s amongst us cringing at that thought.
As a fully fledged adult now (allegedly), I do love a bit of rhubarb, especially in the form of a crumble…particularly when covered in a generous helping of custard too. And much like when I was a kid, Papa still grows masses of rhubarb, and Granny still makes rhubarb crumble by the dozen. So it is safe to say that her recipe for rhubarb crumble is one that is tried and tested!
Not only is it tried, tested and undoubtedly delicious, it’s also incredibly easy and quick to make. The ingredients are few, the effort is minimal, and in times like these it doesn’t go amiss that it is extremely affordable to make too; particularly when you use a bunch of rhubarb from yours or your kind neighbours garden.
RhubarbDifferent rhubarb varieties take on different colours, usually somewhere between a bright pink and an earthy green. The size of your rhubarb stalk can vary massively too, so in this recipe we’ve specified the quantity of rhubarb in grams. That being said, if you are around the 500g mark and still have half a stick of rhubarb left, don’t waste it; just chuck it in too. The 500g is an approximate. And if you really love rhubarb you can even add a little extra for that reason too.
Caster SugarJust because this recipe uses vegetables, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy, by any standards! You’ll use a little sugar in the filling and the rest in the crumble. Caster sugar is what Granny uses but you could always swap it out for golden caster sugar, should you prefer a slightly-less sweet, more caramel-y flavour.
Orange JuiceThe juice of a fresh orange is what is best here, added to the filling for a little moisture, as well as flavour. If you don’t have any oranges to hand, then some orange juice from a carton works well too. Or in a pinch, you can just swap out the orange juice for water.
Self-raising FlourWhen Granny first gave me this recipe I had to clarify the use of self-raising flour in a crumble. It seems a little counter-intuitive to use a flour with a raising agent, in a part of a bake you don’t necessarily want to rise. Granny assured me self-raising flour is indeed what she uses!
Butter or MargarineLike many bakes, butter can give you the best flavour in your rhubarb crumble. However, margarine is a great alternative if you are worried about over all cost, or using dairy. Just be sure you use a block margarine, as opposed to the spreadable kind.
• The shape and size of the dish you use is entirely personal preference. I use a round Pyrex dish that has a 1 litre capacity (photographed); mine is about 7 inches in diameter, which I picked up in a charity shop, and for the life of me I cannot find a similar one to link here. Granny on the other hand usually uses ones of her square Pyrex dishes, which are a similar capacity but a smaller diameter, and a little bit deeper.A dish with a larger diameter will result in a shallower filling & crumble, whereas a smaller diameter will be a deeper filling & crumble. Generally speaking though, you want a dish with a minimum capacity of 1 litre.
• The recipe says to cut the rhubarb into thumb-sized pieces. Of course everyone’s thumbs are different in size but this is just a rough guide. However, if your rhubarb is particularly chunky in width too, I’d recommend cutting your it in half length-ways too.
Nut-free: This recipe for Rhubarb Crumble does not contain any nuts. Although be sure to individually check each of your ingredients to be sure.
Egg-free: This recipe for Rhubarb Crumbles does not contain any nuts. Although be sure to individually check each your ingredients to be sure.
Dairy-free: The only ingredient you would need to be cautious of in this recipe is the butter, however if you swap this for a dairy-free block margarine, this recipe can be dairy-free.
Gluten-free: The crumble mixture of this recipe does call for flour and the one we have tried and tested is wheat flour. However, swapping to a gluten-free self-raising flour should work fine in this recipe.
Vegan: As per the dairy-free instruction, simply swap out the butter for a dairy-free block margarine and this recipe will be a vegan rhubarb crumble.
It is my favourite fruit/veg and I am always making it but I cook the rhubarb first.
I always have loads of rhubarb- we’ve had two crumbles in the last two months!
I add plain chocolate chips- a few scattered over the raw rhubarb and some in the crumble (well quite a lot!), and either chopped root ginger or ground ginger in the rhubarb.
Alpro soya custard is the most amazing accompaniment and can be served hot or cold.
Is there a reason you stir the sugar into the crumble mix after rubbing in? I rub flour, butter and sugar in together…
Hi Scootie. I love the idea of adding chocolate chips – not something I’d ever consider! Alpro custard is my favourite also ;) As for stirring the sugar, it doesn’t make a massive difference either way, but stirring gives a slight more even distribution of the sugar in the crumble, as opposed to it potentially just being rubbed into the lumps.
I think I asked this question before but I see you have been busy. Here it is again. Can you use frozen rhubarb for this recipe? Mine was all weighed and noted before frozen in bags. Would I use the same 500 gr and would I defrost and drain it before using ?. Any other tips ? Thank you and good luck with the new website.
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Hello, I’m Amy, the voice-behind and creator-of Baking with Granny.
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