Dave’s Exquisite Apple, Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble

This is combination of an article by Matt Preston that was syndicated through various channels, I picked it up as “In Matt Preston’s Crumble Opinion”, and a series of other snippets around the place that incorporate rhubarb (Dave’s declared favourite on this occasion) and strawberries, among other fruit variations.

No photos on this one I’m afraid, I was in a huge rush and too busy arguing (I won, for the record) with myself about what flavours and textures would work best.

Serves 6-8 (it turns out, let’s say 5-6)
Prep time 20 mins
Cooking time 45 mins
Freakout time 10 mins
Complexity – pretty straight forward, and still tastes delicious if you mess it up

Preheat oven to 180C

FILLING

3 peaches (not necessary)
3-4 green apples (tart preferred, eg Granny Smith, ~ 350g)
2 rhubarb stems (~ 200g)
200g strawberries
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup apple juice
2tsp cinnamon powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp custard powder

1. Decide at the last minute not to use the peaches.
2. Peel and core the apples, cut them into ~1cm wedges
3. Cut the rhubarb into ~3cm lengths
4. Hull and halve the strawberries
5. Throw all the fruit into a saucepan with the apple juice, cinnamon powder and lemon juice
6. Simmer the fruit until it softens and the syrup starts to thicken, then remove from the heat (let’s call it .. 10 minutes?)
NB. Now is a good time to prepare the crumble (see below)
7. Mix the sugar, vanilla and custard powder in once it has cooled a little.

CRUMBLE

150g cold butter (diced into ~1cm cubes)
150g brown sugar
200g rolled oats
60g plain flour
A pinch of salt
1tsp ground allspice
60g hazelnuts (crushed)
60g walnuts (crushed)

1. Weigh out oats, sugar, flour, salt and allspice into a large bowl
2. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients, it will begin to look like lumpy breadcrumbs
3. Crush the walnuts and hazelnuts if necessary (to ~ <5mm “crumbs”) and mix through the crumble. If you forget, sprinkle them all over the crumble just after it’s gone into the oven and pretend like you meant to do it that way.

ASSEMBLY

1. Pour the filling into a well buttered backing dish
2. Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the fruit, up to about 2cm thick (to taste – it will melt down)
3. Bake at 180C until the crumble is golden and the filling begins to bubble around the edges of the dish (I’m going to say about 25 mins).

Allow to cool (5 mins) and serve with vanilla icecream or cream

IF you are not in a rush and want to do less in the kitchen, don’t worry about stewing the fruit on the stove – throw the whole fillingĀ (mixed up!) in the base of the dish and back at 160C for ~ 1 hour.

EXACT timings depend upon the fruit, whether you use nuts and how well mixed they are, how deep the dish is etc. So just test and keep an eye out for that golden crumble (singed tips is a good sign it’s ready) and bubbling syrup up the sides of the dish.

Hope you enjoy it!

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