Are you ready to rumble Rhubarb Crumble?

Recipe: Rhubarb, Oat and Pecan Crumble

Destined to give your lips a pucker, those first shoots of rhubarb are a sign that spring has sprung, and it’s time to cook up some soul-soothing oat, pecan crumble

By Louise Crosby

(May 19, 2017) Yes, it has stopped raining and, yes, the tulips are out, but how do we know that spring has truly arrived? Rhubarb is here, of course, and it’s time to make crumble.

Legend has it that, as a child, I would eat rhubarb straight out of the ground, not minding its tart taste. Kids do crazy things. These days I like it gently cooked and sweetened, in upside-down cakes, pies, crisps, cobblers and crumbles. I especially like these comforting, homey desserts warmed and topped with plain yogurt or a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.

This crumble, from Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson, is a classic, and so quick and easy to put together. The contrast between the soft, stewed fruit and the crunchy oat-and-pecan topping is very pleasing. Rhubarb pairs well with raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and even apples, so substitute one of these for some of the rhubarb if you’re so inclined. I threw in some blueberries, turning my crumble a dramatic purple-pink colour. A perfect way to say goodbye to winter.

Rhubarb, Oat and Pecan Crumble

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature, for dish
¾ cup (3¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
½ cup (2 ounces) rolled oats
½ cup packed (3¾ ounces) brown sugar
½ cup (2⅛ ounces) chopped pecans
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3½ pounds rhubarb, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 10½ cups or 2 pounds, 6 ounces prepped
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart baking dish.
To make the crumble, mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, pecans and salt together in a bowl. Stir in the butter, then press the mixture together with your hands to form a few small clumps. Put the topping in the freezer while you assemble the filling.
To make the rhubarb filling, rub the granulated sugar and cornstarch together in a bowl, then add the rhubarb and vanilla and toss until evenly coated.
Transfer the rhubarb mixture into the prepared pan and scatter the crumble topping over the top. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the filling bubbles up through the topping. Cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Storage: This crisp is best served the day it is made, but any leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and eaten for breakfast the next morning or kept at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

Serves: 8 to 12


Photos by Louise Crosby

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THE EX-PRESS, May 19, 2017


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