Before I go on a rant explaining how I go about making this Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble with Spelt Chia Topping, (whew! that’s a mouthful!) perhaps you should know that I have never, ever cooked with rhubarb before. I was a little leery to buy it, to be honest. But I figured I might as well try. I am not a big fan of rhubarb on tarts, because, well, the rhubarb is always too tart for my taste! (no pun intended…) So I got to thinking what could I make with my kilo of long green and rose colored stems… Rhubarb applesauce? Then I got thinking… nope, it would be sort of like applesauce but more like a pie, but somewhere in between… that’s it! A crumble! (Insert: run to kitchen with glee!)
Here are the fruits you need: apples, an orange, rhubarb (okay, that’s technically a vegetable) and whole strawberries.
To cook rhubarb, all you need to do is clean the branches (use a good firm scrubbing brush) and then cut the rhubarb in little 1-inch pieces. Squeeze the juice from one orange in the bottom of a casserole, then plop all the rhubarb in, add sugar, a little bit of water (not too much, since we’re not making applesauce and we want a thicker consistency).
After about 15 minutes or so, your rhubarb will turn into this lovely mush. At this point you should add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch (dissolved in water first.) Mix well. Then add in the apple chunks:
And about 7 minutes, later, add the whole strawberries. Turn off the heat and just let sit. If you’ve been getting to know me by now, I like BIG whole chunks of fruit in my desserts. So that’s why these strawberries are going in whole. Go big or go home 🙂
While that’s sitting, time to make the topping. The crumble is a mix of butter, oats (go for the finer quick oats rather than the steel cut oats, because we’re also combining with spelt flakes which are a bit bigger), chia seeds, coconut flour, cinnamon, “quatre epices” (all-spice) and raw cane sugar. Water is the last ingredient that you should add, just to wetten everything up, but not too much.
Lay down a first layer of crumble on the bottom of your Pyrex pan:
Then pour in the rhubarb-apple-strawberry filling. And then top with the remaining half of the crumble topping. Bake at 200C until the crumble starts browning. The inside should bubble and spill up into the edges, nice and beautifully…
Like so: when the juice cools, it will gel and kind of be like a sticky fruit roll-up. Ha, the little things that I love 🙂
This ginormous plate of Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble with Spelt Chia topping is best enjoyed cold, but you can also have it warm if you prefer.
So, my first foray into cooking with rhubarb didn’t turn out so bad afterall 🙂
Don’t hesitate to freeze several portions in individual Tupperwares for a later date. Or, distribute yours to friends and family 🙂
Papi, hope you enjoy yours 🙂