It is spring and in the spring my favorite vegetable is ripe and readily available! There aren't many times that we make a vegetable pie or a vegetable crumble that tastes so good, are there? But, rhubarb is considered a vegetable. It is closely related to garden sorrel and so it is a vegetable as opposed to a fruit. It was initially grown for medicinal purposes but in the 18th century in Britain and America it was grown for culinary purposes.
The stalks of the plant are edible and are used in pies, jams, jellies, sauces and juice, but the leaves are poisonous. The leaves contain oxalic acid crystals which cause the tongue and throat to swell, preventing breathing. I am glad that I didn't know that when I was little...I would have been scared and wouldn't have eaten it at all...I would have missed out on an my all-time favorite!
In an earlier post I mentioned Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber. It is a cookbook that my daughter said was a "must have". I never have to be told twice when it comes to cookbooks so this cute little book joined the library at Christmas. Luckily, it is still on Google Books so you can take a look here. There is a Rhubarb, Oat and Pecan Crumble in the book that is good but not as good as the recipe posted by Marie at The English Kitchen. Marie added strawberries to her crumble which really enhances the flavor, uses walnuts in the crumble instead of pecans and she also reduces the amount of fruit which I highly recommend. Marie's version rocks!!
adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber
and Marie at The English Kitchen
Butter a large glass baking dish and set aside.
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 pound rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
Make the crumble first. Mix the flour, oats, sugar, salt and walnuts together in a bowl. Pour the melted butter over the top. Stir and press together to make a few small clumps. Set the bowl in the freezer while you make the filling.
To make the filling, mix together the cornstarch and sugar in a bowl, then add the rhubarb, strawberries and vanilla. Toss gently until evenly coated.
Transfer the strawberry-rhubarb mixture into the prepared pan. Remove the crumble from the freezer and scatter it over the top.
Bake for 45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling around the edges. Cool for about 20 minutes and serve.
This crumble is best eaten the day that it is prepared. It does not keep very well and should be eaten within a few days.
This is so delicious!! I made it three times last month. The second and third times, I added a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the top. That was a very good idea!
I know that I cannot let the summer go by without making it again. Delicious...delicious....I wonder what else Marie is cooking up? She certainly knows how to make a great crumble!
I am participating in Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage and Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm.