I am not the most athletic of people. When I tried out netball last year, both of the other girls who started on the same day as me got asked to try out for the team , whilst I received an apologetic smile. My swimming technique has been described as ‘you probably wouldn’t drown’ and most of tennis work out comes from bending down to pick up the ball I completely missed. I failed my cycling proficiency test aged 11, a fact that is usually met with the comment ‘but don’t they pass everyone?’. Being officially deemed an unsafe cyclist has meant that I have spent the last 16 years confined to cycling in circles around local parks or along coastal trails.
A month ago I stumbled upon a local farmers market, too far away to walk to, with plenty of quiet residential streets between myself and it’s location. I made it my mission that next time it was on I would dust off my bike and I would make my way there. If I could do this, then cycling around London would be within my grasp. One blown inner tube later (Dan’s inner tube murder tally is now up to 3, I think that qualifies him as a serial killer!) and we were resigned to driving to market via the local bicycle repair shop.
The trip wasn’t in vain as I found a giant bunch of beautiful bright pink rhubarb for a steal. I left the tart, crimson stems long, with the hope of layering elegant fingers in the bottom of the dish before toppling golden crumbs over it. This was until I got distracted and completely over stewed the heck out of it. Smoky whisky pairs well with tart, sweet fruit, which is why it is such a perfect addition to orange marmalade. It may seem like a small quantity of Drambuie but the flavour that comes through is surprising strong. Whilst researching whether this combination would actually work, I came across a site that covered rhubarb crumble with whiskey spiked custard. This would be a fantastic option if you are preparing this dessert for both adults and children.
Crumbles are the dessert I make most often (as seen here, here, here, and here), usually with whatever leftover fruit I have lying around the house. If I am making it with sweet apples I will throw nuts, seeds and oatmeal into the crumble topping for added texture. As rhubarb is very tart I balanced it with just a plain flour, butter and sugar topping. We ate this crumble after our favourite fish pie sat around the dining room table (still a novelty after years of apartment dwelling). Served hot from the oven with a generous scoop of clotted cream ice cream whilst watching the last of the April showers outside.
Previously on BAKE
*apologies for the iPhone picture my trusty Canon is out of juice and the charger is lost somewhere in the depths of the storage locker!
Rhubarb and Whisky Crumble
for the stewed fruit:
300g of fresh rhubarb
75g caster sugar
35ml whisky – I used Drambuie as I had it to hand
for the crumble topping:
100g caster sugar
Slice the rhubarb into long thin strips and place in a saucepan over a medium heat with the water, sugar and whiskey.
Bring to a low boil, then turn the temperature down and simmer for 5 minutes.
Drain the liquor off the rhubarb (this can be reserved for rhubarb bellinis like this gorgeous one Rachel had at Polpetto). You want the rhubarb to have a little extra liquid as possible as it will release more as it bakes in the oven.
To make the crumble mix the flour and sugar together and then rub in the butter.
The best way I have found to do this is to rub the flat of your thumb over the tip of your fingers quickly, shaking the bowl every 15 seconds or so to bring the lumps of butter to the top. This speeds up the process and stops your hands from getting too dirty.
When the mixture has formed a light bread crumb, tip this over a pie dish filled with stewed fruit and pat down.
Bake in the middle of an oven at 180C for about 30 minutes, or until golden on top.
Serve with ice cream, custard or my Grandma’s favourite evaporated milk.