It’s the tail-end of rhubarb season here in New York, and my rhubarb plants needed to be seriously cleaned out. We had planted two rhubarbs in our backyard a couple years ago, and we’ve had some great success. I picked it several times this year, and Saturday was my final bounty, I think.
It’s great to grow things in our backyard that actually yield delicious results. I think in another life I’ll move to California and have rosemary bushes for landscaping and pass out from the wonderful smell (too weird?) Honestly, I hadn’t tried rhubarb much until marrying Trevor. He loves a good strawberry rhubarb pie, but we didn’t have any strawberries in the house on Saturday so I did some digging online and came up with this Rhubarb Crumble recipe from the Food Network.
After making this Saturday morning, at the last minute, we ended up visiting some friends that night for dinner, and this ended up being a great thing we had this in the house to bring to dinner (Rule #1: don’t ever show up empty-handed). First off, it was great to get this out of the house (so we didn’t eat the whole pan), but also everyone really raved about it. It ended up being a big hit and fed a decent amount of people (with vanilla ice cream) for only being like a small, square pan of it.
Some notes on this recipe: I didn’t have hazelnuts on hand so I just swapped them out for sliced almonds. I think any nut would do (walnuts would be especially great). Also, don’t be afraid to really bake this. I made sure the rhubarb was quite soft before I took it out of the oven. If you aren’t familiar, rhubarb is really close to celery (very crisp and crunchy when raw) so you want to make sure it bakes down and gets soft and gooey. If you leave it kind of crunchy, it’ll still have that stringy consistency.
Read on for the recipe and enjoy!
For the topping:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 cup oats
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 6 tbsp. butter, melted
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (or any nut)
For the filling:
- 2 pounds rhubarb, chopped
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. orange zest
- 1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Start with the topping: mix the flour, oats, sugar and salt in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and the nuts. Squeeze into large crumbles and put the whole thing in the freezer. Then the filling: toss together the rhubarb, sugar, flour, vanilla, orange zest and salt into square, ceramic baking dish (I used a 9×9 from Le Creuset). Scatter the crumble on top and bake until golden and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.