Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Saturday, 14 April 2012

A crumble for warmer weather: Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble (or 'Crisp' if you prefer) with Toasted Oats and Hazelnuts

It is probably wrong to associate crumbles with colder weather, but I tend to do so, as they are the type of pud that is substantial, 'sticks to your ribs' and if your accompaniment of choice is custard then your bones get warmed up as a result. However as the year moves on to something a little more spring like, I was looking for something that I considered a little lighter, and that would be more likely to be accompanied by a splosh of cream than a dollop of custard, (not that there is anything ever wrong with said 'dollop').

Regular readers to this blog will know that I am a huge Tamasin Day Lewis fan and this recipe is from her latest cookbook, 'Food you can't say no to'. It is a lovely book, as are all her others, and the way she writes so eloquently on food, on memory and the joy of eating is wonderful to read and inspires the budding cook to get into the kitchen.

I made very little changes to the original recipe, save that I had some rhubarb in the freezer which I had cooked and frozen several months ago, and I upped the amount of strawberries, for two reasons. One, Lola. If Lola could be a fruit, she would be a strawberry, and secondly, the strawberries that I bought (and I don't like buying them at this time of year because they're often dreadful) I couldn't see myself doing anything with the remaining few, so I lobbed them in. I also wanted a more uniform crumble - the original recipe suggests layering the crumble somewhat, so crumble, followed by toasted oats, followed by some of the hazelnuts, coarsely chopped. Finn in particular isn't keen on nuts as such, so I wanted to have the crumble more 'uniform' by combining all the crumble ingredients and blitzing all of the hazelnuts.

Despite the fact that rhubarb and custard should be together, I think this is better accompanied with a little cream. Or a lot...

Rhubarb and Strawberry Crisp with Toasted Oats and Hazelnuts, taken from 'Food you can't say no to' by Tamasin Day Lewis.

Serves Mum, Dad, Lola and Finn twice


675g rhubarb, cleaned and chunked
4 tbsp vanilla caster sugar, or to taste (I confess, I used caster sugar with a couple of drops of vanilla extract)
450g strawberries, hulled, halved if large (I used 500g strawberries)

For the crumble:

Large handful of (jumbo) porridge oats
90g hazelnuts, toasted and skinned and blitzed
180g plain flour
120g chilled butter, cubed
60g light muscavado sugar
60g granulated sugar


Combine the chunked rhubarb, the strawberries the sugar and vanilla carefully to encourage the flavours to combine. Leave whilst you prepare the crumble topping.

In a small frying pan, toast off the oats until they are golden brown. Tip onto a plate and set aside. Then toast off the hazelnuts, taking care that they don't burn.

Rub together the butter and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add the sugars. Finally add the toasted hazelnuts and oats and stir to combine.

Stir the fruit again and then transfer it to the dish you wish to bake the crumble in (I just combined my fruit in the dish I wished to use for the crumble in the first place). Top the fruit evenly with the crumble mixture.

Baked for around 45 minutes, or until crisp and bubbling. Remove from the oven and leave for 5 -10 minutes or so because it will be really, really hot. Serve with cream.

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