I love the Brits for many things; gardening, literature and spot-on wit, not to mention their penchant for sensible shoes. And when it comes to descriptive terms for fruit based-desserts, no one comes close.
Crumble, grunt, fool, trifle, dowdy, mess or pudding that really isn't; they're all delicious in a humble, unpretentious way. Half the fun is just saying their name.
I think I promised this recipe last year and didn't deliver. Did anyone notice? No matter, I'm making good on it now. This is a top-ten dessert at our house, not an easy feat around die-hard pie lovers.
The strawberries tone down the tartness of the rhubarb just a bit, just in case you have any less than rhubarb enthusiasts in your home.
What's great about this is how they grow together in the garden. All around the rhubarb, I'm using strawberries as edible groundcover, and soon the two will be ready for harvest. This is edible landscaping at it's best. I love it when the garden tells me what to make instead of me wandering clueless around the kitchen seeking inspiration.
Those of you further south might have already been looking for ways to enjoy these two harbingers of spring. Lucky you.
Like my other recipes, more suggestion than instruction, but very forgiving...
Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble
Approx. 2-3 lbs Rhubarb, cut into inch chunks
Approx 16 oz. Strawberries, stemmed and cut in half
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
1 Teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 Cup minced crystallized ginger (optional but nice)
Combine the rhubarb, brown sugar and ginger(s) in a saucepan and cook covered over gentle heat about 10 minutes, and then add the strawberries and cook another 5 minutes.
Transfer the cooked mixture to some sort of ovenproof pie/cobbler/casserole dish and sprinkle with crumble topping and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown and bubbly.
---Basic Crumble Topping
1 Cup unbleached flour
3 oz. butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
I add a handful of oats and/or chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts
Cut in the butter and flour and then when it's well, crumbly, add the brown sugar and the extras if so desired.
This is good warm or cold, with vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream or even a little English style custard.