Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

Lulu is the only person I know who can contemplate setting up a woman about to give birth to twins (due at any minute, she is near full term) at a dinner party date at someone else’s house. My house. “Does he know she is pregnant?” I asked Lulu. “He likes kids,” was the response. He’d better.

To be fair she and John cooked the main course themselves. Whole snapper baked in the oven Asian style. John took a photo of the fish prior to being baked in the oven which I will post here as soon as I extract it. It was tender and lightly pungent with lemongrass, coriander, and chilli as some of the core flavours.

I had been leaning towards producing a beef rib roast with Yorkshire pudding followed by rhubarb crumble. Thwarted by the fishy main I still did the rhubarb crumble even though something like a lime tart would follow the fish a little better.

Rhubarb crumble is a wonderful, rich, hearty sort of rustic winter dessert. It is the kind of dessert you serve after a family Sunday roast as opposed to formal dinner parties. In my experience though, people love this kind of back-to-childhood food and it is always a hit. Nigella’s recipe is pretty straightforward. I tend to be a bit random with both the quantities of rhubarb (bit more if the dish is larger) and I usually double the crumble recipe as I don’t have any dishes that are 21cm in diameter and 4cm deep. My dishes are either larger or too shallow so I increase the crumble quantity and chuck it on.

Rhubarb crumble

1kg pink rhubarb to give at least 750g when chopped up into 1cm pieces
50g caster sugar
1T butter
1T good quality vanilla extract
1T cornflour
For the crumble topping
150g plain flour
1t baking powder
110g unsalted butter, cold and diced
3T vanilla sugar or ordinary sugar
3T demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 190C, and put in a baking sheet to sit the crumble pie dish on.

Toss the sliced rhubarb in a pan on the heat with the sugar, butter, vanilla and cornflour for about 5 minutes until the butter has melted and everything oozed together.

Tip into a pie dish approximately 21cm diameter and 4cm deep. Increase the quantity of rhubarb if you are using a larger pan. You can do this in advance; and also make the crumble crumbs in advance as well and then assemble at the last minute when you are ready to put into the oven.

Put the flour and baking powder into a food processor (or use self raising flour and leave out the baking powder). Drop in the cold, diced butter and blast a few times till crumbs form like rough oatmeal. Chuck in the sugar and blast once to mix through. You can freeze the mixture or leave it in the fridge in a bag until you are ready to use it.

Assemble the crumble. Pour the crumble mix over the rhubarb. Place in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes on the baking sheet.

Serve with cream, vanilla icecream, yoghurt or whatever you prefer.


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