For some people crumble is a rare treat eaten on dark, damp autumn evenings and chilly, bright winter days. I feel sorry for these poor souls. I like to have a crumble a season. Every season. Even summer. My autumn crumble is full of English apples and lots of warming spices. My end of winter/beginning of spring crumble involves rhubarb of course – forced if you’re early and not if you’re late.
For the filling
- A knob of butter for greasing
- 400g of rhubarb – chopped into 3-4cm lengths
- 4 small English apples – cored and chopped into chunks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 20g sultanas
For the crumble topping
- 100g plain wholemeal flour
- 120g thick rolled oats
- 50g muscovado sugar
- 100g butter – 75g cubed, 25g sliced
- 20g mixed nuts – roughly broken
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / gas mark 6 and lightly grease a baking tray with butter.
- In a large bowl, mix the chopped fruit with the vanilla extract, honey and cinnamon. Tip it into the baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes until the rhubarb gives slightly when poked but isn’t yet a mush. Keep the oven on if you’re going to cook the crumble right away.
- Add the sultanas to the fruit then check for sweetness. If you like, add more honey. Pop the fruit into the bottom of your crumble dish.
- To make the topping, combine the flour, oats and sugar in bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub it in to the dry ingredients with your fingertips. Try not to eat too much of it.
- When there are no more big lumps, mix in the broken nuts.
- Put the crumble topping onto the stewed fruit.
- Bake in the hot oven for half an hour or so. Half way through, add the slices of butter to the top of the crumble for extra golden yumminess.
- Enjoy with yoghurt, custard or ice cream.