Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Mystery of the Rhubarb Triangle

Being a huge fan of anything rhubarby (real rhubarb though mind, none of these rhubarb flavoured sweeties, blech!) I was most thrilled to find our local greengrocers stocking it already, and even more thrilled to learn that we are now living in The Rhubarb Triangle.

With plans of making these rhubarb crumble muffins, I bought myself a modest three sticks (sticks? Stems? (Ah, "petiole" apparently. Thank you Wikipedia.)) of rhubarb on grocery day this week and went happily about my way. Only today, realising I needed some buttermilk for the recipe, did I pop back into the greengrocers (they do buttermilk in the greengrocers! Fantastic!) to find they had a large bunch of rhubarb for 50p because it was nearly starting to go floppy. W00t! Rhubarb galore for me! After the lady behind the counter had triple checked with me that it was buttermilk I wanted and hadn't picked it up thinking it was milk, I headed home and made myself some of the muffins.

And very nice they were too! Even if I say so myself.

Le Boof's already nearly eaten his share. He's not a fan of overly sweet cakes, this recipe is perfect for him. The rhubarb gives the muffins a lovely fruity tartness, that the sugar in the recipe tempers but doesn't overwhelm, and the crumble topping comes out nice and crunchy. Fresh out of the oven they'd be wonderful with some vanilla ice cream as a dessert. They were lovely and squishy with the rhubarb bits all nice and juicy without making the cake soggy.

Having made the muffins I still had about 700g of diced rhubarb left. Oh, what a shame.

I had a look at a few rhubarb crumble recipes, but I couldn't find just one that had everything I felt I required from a crumble recipe at this particular time. So here's my mish mash of recipes.

 Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble

For the fruity bit:
700g rhubarb, diced
25g caster sugar
As much fresh ginger as you can handle, grated
2 tbsp golden syrup

For the crumble:
175g plain flour
55g oats
140g butter
85g caster sugar

Preheat your oven to 170°c

1. Mix all the fruity bit ingredients together, then set aside. The chunk of ginger I used was about the size of both of my thumbs next to each other. I don't know why thumbs are so often used to measure fresh ginger, but it seems safest to stick with it.

2. Put all the crumble ingredients together in a bowl, roughly chop up the butter with a knife then get your hands in, rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients until you've got something resembling breadcrumbs. It doesn't have to be too fine.

3. Take a pie dish and pour in the rhubarby mix. It will be quite juicy by now.

4. Tip in half the crumble mix on top of the rhubarb and pat down, then put the rest of the mix on top loosely. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of granulated sugar, some cinnamon and some ground ginger.

5. Cook for 40-45 minutes.

6. Omnomnomnom. (Maybe leave to cool for a couple of minutes, with all that hot syrupy goodness beneath the calm crumbly topping it'll be a bit more like a lava crumble, straight out of the oven.)

This is actually going in the freezer. I've portioned it up ready for when I have a pudding hankering. However, as the chef I did have to give it a taste, but otherwise, in the freezer it goes! (EDIT: some has been lost to the great bearded food hoover I live with)

I've tried making crumbles with fresh ginger in before, but always just chopped it up really small. This did the trick, but it was more tiny little land mines of heat than an overall heat. Grating it sorted that though. This crumble is incredibly warming, you can taste the ginger but it's a little more subtle, and it compliments the tart rhubarb wonderfully.

Shall definitely make again. Possibly until both the freezer and my tummy are full.

I've now got to find some more interesting rhubarb recipes. I plan on heading over to the green grocers just before closing time on a Saturday for the foreseeable future to take full advantage of any more large quantities of cheap rhubarb!

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