Saturday, 15 May 2010

Annie Leibovitz I Ain't

Those of you who have read this blog before, especially at the beginning, might find it hard to believe that there are actually pictures of my food that I deem too bad to use. I take my photos with my phone right before we dig in and I have appalling lighting in my kitchen. I WILL sort myself out soon and get a decent camera, but for now, I've decided that I'd rather post my rather poor excuses for food photography than not post at all.

I nearly didn't post this recipe for rhubarb and apple crumble because I couldn't get a decent picture of it  (I made a mess serving it, bad lighting). Yesterday I made a 6-hour roasted and barbecued piece of belly pork that was probably the best I've ever had, but forgot (yes, forgot!) to take a picture of it on the plate and so will wait til the next time I make it to post it.

This crumble was a special treat for my husband who was sulking because his shiny new laptop that had been due to arrive was stuck in UK customs. Given the sheer scale of his geekiness, it's unlikely that it completely made up for his disappointment, but he certainly didn't mention it after he ate this. All of us agreed that this was my most successful crumble yet and that the rhubarb and apple is a serious winner.

The rhubarb is the first and only harvest we'll be able to get from our juvenile plants this year, so it was important that I make the most of it. The recipe is very simple and I think really makes the most of the rhubarb, which is at the height of its season here at the moment. Not including baking time, this is a quick dish to make and because of its rustic nature, is super, super easy.

Best Ever Rhubarb and Apple Crumble
serves 6, takes 90 minutes

4 stalks rhubarb
5 eating apples, such as Braeburn or Gala
1 knob of stem ginger in syrup, finely grated
100g (3.5oz) golden caster sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

For the topping:
175g (6.2oz)  plain flour
100g cold butter, cut into 1cm dice
30g rolled oats
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 170C (340F)
Cut the rhubarb into pieces approximately 5cm (2") long and peel, core and cut the apples into half-moon slices about 1" thick.

Sprinkle both with the sugar, flour, nutmeg and ginger, then mix well to combine. Leave the bowl to sit for 15 minutes while you prepare the crumble.

Put all of the crumble ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse for 20-30 seconds until you have the texture of coarse breadcrumbs.

Arrange the apples and rhubarb in a baking dish, with the rhubarb at the top. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top in an even layer and then bake for 55-65 minutes, until you have a golden-brown top with a warm, syrupy bubbling around the outside.

Allow the lot to cool for about ten minutes before serving with custard or vanilla ice cream.

*I made a vanilla bean custard, cooled it and then folded in sweetened whipped cream. Holy CUSS! Is there a name for this already or did I just invent the most amazing dessert accompaniment EVER?

Rhubarb Crumble on FoodistaRhubarb Crumble


  1. Hey Emily, I like the combination of apple and rhubarb instead of strawberry. Sounds really delicious too.
    You use a phone camera? It must have a pretty good camera in there, b/c some of the pics are nice. Like the photo of the apple and rhubarb above. I also remember your profiteroles looked delicious. My phone could never take pics like that...

  2. This looks delicious! Love the rhubarb apple combo!

  3. Yummy rhubarb crisp! I've had one with rhubarb and strawberries, but not apples. Sounds great.

  4. Thanks girls,
    I think that I'm going to stick with the apple from now on, I love the flavour of the rhubarb and this way it gets centre stage.
    Although I may reconsider when my strawberries ripen...

  5. That is an awesome combination! I am a big fan of rhubarb and fruit crumbles! Lately, i have made many rhubarb & strawberry crumbles...



  6. I totally feel your pain when it comes to the food photography stuff. I am struggling there. BUT - this past weekend I just made some awesome homemade diffuser lights. I hate to post my link so blatantly when leaving comments, but really - check this out -

    Also, can you believe I've never - NEVER - eaten rhubarb before? I've been meaning to fix this for some time now but still have not ever gotten around to it. Dreadful, I know.

  7. Apples are my I love the idea of using them instead of the normal strawberries. And your posts make me smile. Love your blog

  8. I think that the rhubarb/strawberry combo is a quite American thing, I remember that from when I lived there. While we do use the two together here, rhubarb is kinda considered a really British ingredient, so we go nuts with it at this time of year, making pies, tarts, ice creams, fools, and even serving it with savoury dishes like mackerel and pork.

  9. I feel your pain on the photos. I'm desperate for a better camera (with an image stabilizing function and a nice macro lens!). But, my first step to better photos (I hope) will be the purchase of a portable light box to solve all (or most) of my lighting issues. I think I'm getting that soon.

    My brother is a graphic artist. He was asking me about quinoa one day, because people at his job were trying to find a beautiful photo of it online. Ever since, I've been sending him pretty photos of quinoa when I see them. The other day I found a really gorgeous shot on someone's blog and directed him over to check it out. "Isn't it lovely?" I asked. ", it's okay," he said, "But I would use less direct light, etcetcetc." "My god," I said, "please never go look at my blog again!" Yikes. To think that people like him are looking at my blog is terrifying. ;)

  10. I really need to revisit rhubarb - I am seeing so many delectable dishes and this is one of them - I bet the crumble was delicious. Well my camera is out of commission and since I am yet again between cameras I am using my cell phone so my pictures are terrible at best, these look fine to me.

  11. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never had rhubarb :/ What kind of a foodie am I?! I am a HUGE fan of apple crisp, so I'm sure I'd love this combination.

  12. I can't find rhubarb anywhere here...It's annoying me b/c I have seen so many great recipe like this with rhubarb.

    I know how frusterating it is to want to take good pics, but not have the equipment. When that day comes that you get that 'fancy' camera, you might jump through the roof, no joke. I think I squealed like a school girl for weeks. In the meantime, your pics and recipes are great!

  13. Hmm, I don't know where abouts in the States it would be in Season right now. Probably the Northwest for sure, although that doesn't mean that anyone is actually growing it.
    Maybe you'd have luck at a local farmers' market?
    I remember when I lived in AZ that we had about a two-week window to buy it in the grocery store and it was something like $6 for a little bunch.
    I bought some more today, as it was on sale buy-one-get-one-free (so about $1.80 for a bunch of 4-5 LONG stalks.
    I guess that like many ingredients, it's all about where you are.
    I can't get masa for making corn tortillas here. :-S

  14. i feel so behind having just now fallen in love with rhubarb. rhubarb is in seasons in the states, its hard to find in some parts though. i'm not so big on the strawberry combination, but i can imagine the apples would be great. this looks quite delicious to me :)

  15. Great recipes that count! Love all the recipes you have shared with us.

  16. I;m really glad you posted this recipe because I just bought my first farm fresh rhubarb. Looks like a great recipe to start with!