A Humble Crumble

Although we only have a tiny front garden about the size of our couch, my hubby has managed to cultivate a veritable green grocer's selection of fruit, veg, herbs and flowers. Beware if you ever come to visit .... despite the postage-stamp size (and shape) of the 'garden' - really just a collection of assorted tubs, buckets, pots, and troughs in which nestle, among other things, carrots, leeks, and courgettes - hubby will insist on giving you a full tour. Ooh-ing and aah-ing will be expected, and uninterested parties will be treated with distinct disdain. Even I, more familiar than most with the wonderful fecundity that is our front garden, am treated to  near daily updates of what's going on with the leeks, or the peas, or the strawberries, or.... well, you get the point.

Home grown strawberries
Not having a green thumb myself, I'm far more interested in harvesting and eating the fruits of hubby's labours (literally). This year, there was a bumper crop of rhubarb, so I've been going through all the possibilities - compote, syllabub, tart, upside down cake, etc. Everything sounded amazing, but ultimately I decided to go for an old favourite - rhubarb crumble. My mother-in-law makes the best crumble I've ever had, the secret of which, I think, is that the topping uses porridge oats instead of flour. Mixed with sugar, butter and a bit of golden syrup, the oats make an amazing biscuit-y topping that crisps up beautifully, much better than the typical flour-based crumble topping. Not only that, but it tastes great atop the tangy stewed rhubarb beneath. *Yum*

Crispy, oats-only crumble topping
There's nothing hard and fast about this recipe; it's more about getting the ratios right. If you've got more/less fruit than I did, or if you like more fruit and less crumble, adjust how much crumble mixture you have, keeping  the ratio of oats, butter and sugar at 2:1:1. The golden syrup is just for flavouring, so add to taste. So simple!

The finished product with vanilla ice cream
Rhubarb Crumble

650-800 g rhubarb
150 g caster sugar

240 g porridge oats
120 g caster sugar
120 g butter, melted
2 tbls golden syrup

Place the rhubarb and caster sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to keep things from sticking. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the rhubarb is nice and soft.

In the meantime, heat the oven to 180°C. In a large bowl, mix the porridge oats, caster sugar, butter and golden syrup until everything starts to come together and the mixture looks a bit like granola. When the rhubarb is ready, pour it into the bottom of a medium-sized baking dish. Spread the crumble mixture evenly over the top and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lovely and golden brown on top.

Obviously, the crumble didn't last long around here!
xx Tina


  1. Yay for crumble! I make a similar topping made up by trial and error when I lived on my own and only wanted a mini crumble - though I split the oats and flour 50/50. Equal amounts of them, butter and dark brown sugar - and as I am a Canadian a nice dash of cinnamon too.

    1. Yum! I'm thinking a dash of cinnamon and maple syrup instead of golden syrup would add a real New England feel to the whole thing.

  2. We like crumble too. I always top it off with a generous shake of cinnamon. Di x

    1. Must try a shake of cinnamon next time!

  3. Hard to beat a good rhubarb crumble - but really in July we should be complaining that it's not the right time of year to eat it. Sadly, this year it is.

  4. I LOVE rhubarb! We nearly managed to kill ours off this year, but it seems to be coming back, slowly. Well done to hubby for making the most of your space. jxo


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