If I had to choose a favourite crumble it would be rhubarb. Or possibly gooseberry, I can never quite decide. Which always makes it difficult when we visit my parents: they are the masters of fruit crumbles and keep what they can’t eat or give away of their home-grown fruit crops in the freezer to enjoy throughout the year. It’s always a good idea to stay at least two nights: two crumbles and no need to decide… A few weeks ago I visited them on the Isle of Wight for the last time. It’s where I grew up and where they have lived for the last forty years, and I had never really thought they would ever actually leave it. But they have, and have swapped the Isle of Wight for Wales. Wales is just as beautiful but there’s no sea where they are going: even though I have cursed the ferries for years and think it’s a great move for them, I am not entirely sure not sure how I feel about it now that it’s happened. How will I cope in the summer! Despite not living next to the sea since I was 18 I still miss it and now I can’t escape to it when I need to.
So less of this:
And more of this:
Still, can’t really complain!!!
But as they still had fruit in the freezer I tried to console myself by leaving with a large bag of rhubarb. I thought it might be good to add a few pears to make a change and the ginger gives it a little something extra. While it made a delicious crumble that everyone enjoyed we were divided between the rhubarb crumble purists who thought rhubarb should be left on its own in a crumble, and the pear lovers who thought pears made it even better. Let me know what you decide!
3 small pears
1 piece of stem ginger
2 tablespoons maple syrup
50g plain flour
40g ground almonds
50g demerara sugar
1 tablespoon ground flax seed (optional)
Set the oven to 180°C.
Cook the rhubarb either in the microwave or in a saucepan with a little water, just until it starts to soften.
Peel and core the pears and chop the stem ginger into small pieces.
Put the rhubarb and some, but not all of the liquid, into a large dish, along with the pear and chopped ginger.
Mix together and add a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup (more if you like your crumble sweeter).
Put the flour, ground almonds, oats, sugar and flax seed, if using, into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs:
Tip the crumble mixture over the top of the fruit and very gently level. Do not press it down.
Bake for around 30 minutes, until the topping is well browned and the fruit is bubbling up. Serve warm on its own or with custard, ice cream or cream.