Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rhubarb Apple Crumble

When I was packing my things to move to Australia, I had to be judicious in what I chose to pack and ship because a journey halfway around the world is not cheap. This meant that I had to narrow down my cookbook collection to only those deemed absolutely essential. My friends eventually took pity on me and volunteered to spread out my "non-essential" (but still deeply loved) books amongst my friendship circle to mail to me later.

I opened my VIP cookbook box after it traveled by sea with my other things for nearly 3 months and pulled out The Country Cooking of Ireland by Colman Andrews which won the James Beard Award for cookbooks. I got it as a gift from my good friends E&B and I think it may be the most beautiful cookbook in my collection. It is one of those books that inspires with its beautiful photography capturing rustic meals, gorgeous landscapes and various Irish folks and food.

I plan on cooking my way through it and have already made several recipes including a Lettuce & Pea Soup, Salmon with Bacon, Cabbage and Cream, and Soda Bread. They were all delicious and used simple but excellent ingredients. The Rhubarb Ginger Crumble caught my eye and I revised it to include apples. I cut back on the sugar by a cup because it seemed like a scary amount and also added chopped walnuts to the topping.

The result was incredibly good. The ginger is the winning element here. It adds a great zing to the tart rhubarb, sweet apples, and buttery upper crust. Baked fruit desserts always smell so amazing as they cook and this recipe did just that. I ate it warm for dessert, cold for breakfast the next day, sneaked spoonfuls until it was gone and loved it every time.

For 8 servings:
  • 5 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Fuji apples, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 1½ cups + 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • Pinch of salt
Heat the oven to 375f (190c). In a large bowl combine the rhubarb, apple, ginger, and the 1½ cups sugar. Butter a large glass baking dish and spread the fruit evenly in it.

In another bowl, combine the flour and butter. With a pastry cutter, blend them together until pea-sized crumbs form. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, the walnuts and the salt. Distribute evenly over the fruit, pressing down slightly.

Place in the center of the oven and bake, until the fruit is bubbling and the top is golden - about 60-75 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or plain in all its glory.

Adapted from the Rhubarb Ginger Crumble recipe in The Country Cooking of Ireland by Colman Andrews


Anonymous said...

Paring down a cookbook collection for moving is terribly hard. We didn't ship anything when we moved, and I only had room for two cookbooks in my suitcases. (Annoying airline weight limits!) Anyway, I hope you enjoy the books you brought and that your friends will start mailing the ones you left behind soon!

Katherine said...

I followed your recipe exactly and it was delicious! The small hint on ginger was the perfect subtle touch! This is the second recipe of yours I have followed now, I love all of your postings! Thank you!

Erin, A Crafty Lass said...

Amerarabwife: 2 cookbooks! You had to be verrrry choosy. My friends have already started sending books. Thanks!

Mika: Wow! I'm honored. Thank you so much for your kind words and for thinking of my blog. It is much appreciated.

Katherine: I love hearing that people actually make my recipes. So glad you liked it. Thanks for your support!