Sunday 19th July in the UK was Father’s Day and for me, that means one very important duty I must fulfil as a daughter – making crumble. Now, given the choice, “what would you like, apple or rhubarb crumble?” it was to be apple AND rhubarb... something for which I didn’t have a recipe of in my repertoire. Thus follows my own spin on the classic sweet treat adapted from a dozen adventures with Delia Smith dishes.
Crumble is the quintessential traditional British comfort cooking. It takes and makes the best of seasonal fruits, splicing and dicing them together in a spiced, sweet and sharp ensemble all buried under beautiful layers of buttery crumble topping.
When it cooks, the spices sing out amidst the rich aroma of the baked topping and the fragrance of the fruits within, bubbling away in the sultry depths of the hot oven.
For my Dad it’s irresistible. For me, it’s all about the fruit. I like it not too sweet and liberal with the crumble, the buttered crumb with scattered traces of Demerara sugar subsiding into the tender spiced fruit with just a teeny splosh of custard. Again, the conditions of crumble, according to my Father state that there is only one custard – Bird's.
Rhubarb and Apple Crumble
♥ 600g rhubarb
♥ 500g Braeburn apples
♥ 75-110g of golden caster sugar (adjust to taste)
♥ 1 heaped teaspoon of freshly grated root ginger
♥ 1 level teaspoon of ground cinnamon
♥ A dash of brandy
♥ 110g of ground almonds
♥ 75g chilled butter, cut into small dice
♥ 175g self-raising flour
♥ 2 level teaspoons of ground cinnamon
♥ 1 level teaspoon of ground ginger
♥ 110g Demerara sugar
Your choice of custard or favourite vanilla icecream
♥ Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (gas mark 6, 400°F)
♥Ovenproof baking dish measuring 7½ x 11 inches (19 x 28 cm) and 1¾ inches (4.5 cm) deep, or a round ovenproof baking dish with a diameter of 9½ inches (24 cm) and 1¾ inches (4.5 cm) deep.
How to make:
1) Wash and chop the rhubarb into 2.5cm pieces and place in the oven dish
2) Peel and core the apples, slice thickly add them to the rhubarb
3) Sprinkle over the sugar and spices, the fresh ginger and toss the ingredients together
4) Finally, add a dash of brandy to the fruit
5) Sift the flour and spices into the bowl of a food processor
6) Add the sugar and cubes of butter and stir before turning on the power
7) Pulse the mixture until it resembles crumbs
8) Spread the crumble mix over the surface of the fruit filling creating an even covering
9) Press the topping down on top of the fruit with the palm of your hands to make a firm and crisp crumble
10) Finally, lightly run a fork over the surface of the crumble to add an extra level of crispy goodness as it bakes
11) Put the crumble into the pre-heated oven on the centre shelf for 35-40mins until the fruit is cooked through, piping hot and bubby (if the top begins to scorch you can pop a sheet of foil over the surface to protect it).
12) Take it out of the oven, letting it rest while you dash to either whip up a batch of Bird’s custard or decant a dollop of suitable alternative to appeal to your own personal preference of crumble combinations.