Friday, August 13, 2010
Strawberry and rhubarb crumble
Don't you love going to the markets and picking up fresh produce? I could live in Queen Vic Market in Melbourne - it has the most amazing array of all kinds of foods, and other things that defy categorisation. I am very shortly doing a shop and cook tour through the market to learn more about its hidden secrets, and I cannot wait.
During my last visit to the market, I bought some gorgeous ruby red rhubarb. Unfortunately, it became a little broken and sad before I got it home because I lost my purse at the market, and the poor old rhubarb got thrown around while I looked for the purse in a mad panic. I was very lucky - a nice lady found my purse and handed it in to a market staff member, who brought it into the office while I was shakily trying to cancel my cards. I only ended up having to cancel one card, and I got my purse back intact. One of the joys of having a blog is that I can get a message out there, so I want to say a big THANK YOU to the anonymous lady who found my purse at Queen Vic Market a couple of weeks ago and handed it in - you have restored my faith in human nature, and I wish I knew who you were so that I could thank you properly.
Back to the rhubarb ... I also had some strawberries living in my fridge that were getting a little long in the tooth, so I was keen to find a recipe that used both rhubarb and strawberries. Matthew Evans, a well known Australian food writer who left the big smoke of Sydney to start his own farm in Tasmania and televised it, came to my rescue. He has written a marvellous book called The Real Food Companion, which aims to teach us how to source, cook and eat "real" food. It is divided into ingredients, and has wonderful prose that accompanies each chapter, and a short paragraph accompanying each recipe. In an ideal world, I would love to do exactly what Matthew has done, but I just don't think I have the skills. However, I love his book, and I can at least make some of his wonderful recipes.
In The Real Food Companion, there is a recipe for strawberry and rhubarb crumble - exactly what I was looking for! The poor battered rhubarb and the ageing strawberries were given a new lease of life courtesy of this wonderful recipe. The end result is pictured at the top of this post - don't you just love the rich red juice staining the crumble topping? Matthew used rosewater geraniums to flavour his crumble; I do not have those, so I just used rosewater.
To make this crumble, you will need (with my adaptations):
200g plain flour
120g cold butter, cut into small pieces
250g rhubarb, cut into small pieces (approx 5cm long)
250g strawberries, hulled and halved
3-4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rosewater
The first job is to make the crumble. For this, put the flour and sugar into a medium bowl, and rub in the butter until you get a crumb-like consistency. Refrigerate the mixture for half an hour.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the fruit with the honey and vanilla until well combined, then press it into a greased 25cm square cake or pie pan. Sprinkle the rosewater over the top of the fruit:
Doesn't that look great?
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Sprinkle the crumble over the top of the fruit, then bake the crumble in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the crumble is golden brown on top.
Serve with cream, icecream or custard. Yum!!