Rhubarb and Almond Crumble
Although my own rhubarb crop is only about 3 inches high at present, there is plenty of the early forced rhubarb in the shops and it's never better than in this most English of puddings. On Sundays we serve it with proper custard, an extra luxurious addition.
This recipe is taken from Delia's Vegetarian Collection
| 2 lb (900 g) rhubarb|
| 4 oz (110 g) golden caster sugar|
| 1 rounded teaspoon grated fresh root ginger |
|For the crumble: |
| 4 oz (110 g) whole almonds, skin on|
| 3 oz (75 g) chilled butter, cut into small dice|
| 6 oz (175 g) self-raising flour, sifted|
| 2 level teaspoons ground cinnamon|
| 1 level teaspoon ground ginger|
| 4 oz (110 g) demerara sugar|
|To serve: |
| custard or pouring cream|
| Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).|
|You will also need either an oval 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.|
Begin by preparing the rhubarb. First of all wash it, then trim off the leaves and cut the stalks roughly into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks. Next, toss them in a bowl with the sugar and freshly grated root ginger, then place them in the baking dish and keep on one side.
Now make the crumble, which couldn't be simpler, as it is all made in a food processor. All you do is place the butter, sifted flour, cinnamon, ground ginger and sugar in the processor and give it a whiz till it resembles crumbs. Next, add the almonds and process again, not too fast, until they are fairly finely chopped and there are still a few chunky bits.
If you don't have a processor, in a large bowl, rub the butter into the sifted flour until it resembles crumbs, then stir in the almonds, which should be fairly finely chopped by hand, cinnamon, ginger and sugar.
Now you need to press the rhubarb very firmly with your hands all over the base of the dish to spread it evenly without too many large lumps sticking out. Then simply sprinkle the crumble mixture all over the rhubarb, spreading it right up to the edges of the dish, and, using the flat of your hands, press it down quite firmly all over; the more tightly it is packed together the crisper it will be. Then finish off by lightly running a fork all over the surface.
Now bake the crumble on the centre shelf of the oven for 35-40 minutes, by which time the rhubarb will be soft and the topping golden brown and crisp. Leave it to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving, then serve it warm with custard, pouring cream or ice cream.
One of my favourites with this would be Hill Station Stem Ginger Ice Cream, available at Sainsbury's and other supermarkets.