The Veg Plot

Let’s get ready to crumble

Our books (and fellow allotmenteers) tell us that rhubarb must be harvested by mid-summer. Any sticks taken after this time will have become woody, and the plant needs time to replenish its energy for another year of serious rhubarbing.

Well, guess what? I’ve just ripped up that rule book and laughed loud and aggressively in the face of Carol Klein and all those other ‘celebrity’ gardeners (not literally, of course… that would be rude).

Our rhubarb plant is a bit of a sprawling monster, and despite Nick’s best attempts at taming the beast by severing its limbs for his rhubarb wine, there are still plenty of fleshy sticks* just waiting to be plucked.
So I plucked them… and did what any self-respecting, full-blooded male man would do.
I made a crumble.

This is the easiest, best rhubarb crumble recipe, no arguments.

  • First, pick a kilo of rhubarb sticks, and chop them into 4-5cm lengths. Put them in a roasting tray, along with 4 tbsp of water and 8 tbsp of caster sugar.
  • Put them in a pre-heated oven @180C/350F/Gas mark 4 and roast them for about 15 minutes.
  • When cooked, take them out of the oven, sprinkle over 1 tbsp of powdered ginger and mash the stalks up with a fork.
  • Fill up a large ovenproof dish with the rhubarb mixture. (You should aim for a rhubarb depth of about 3cm).
  • Next up, prepare the crumble mix by adding 110g butter, 110g of demerara sugar and 200g of plain flour to a bowl and mixing together with your fingers, making sure you rub all the butter into the mixture.
  • Sprinkle this mixture over your rhubarb, then bake in the oven for about 35 minutes.
  • Serve with cream and smug satisfaction that you’ve beaten the system and stuck it to the man.

Next week: What to do with a dying rhubarb plant.

*Interestingly, there is a variety of rhubarb called the Prince Albert. We have no idea what make our rhubarb is but we are hoping it’s not a variety named after a genital piercing.

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