Crumbles would have to be one of the most simple and comforting desserts on my list for entertaining friends. I love that they can be so versatile; utilising virtually whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand and they’re also very difficult to mess up! This recipe is from my eBook The Renewable Table.
A crumble, traditionally known as a brown betty, is a dish of British origin that can be made in a sweet or savoury version, depending on ingredients used. A sweet variety is much more common and usually contains some form of stewed fruit topped with a crumbly mixture of fat (usually butter), flour, and sugar.
The most common of the crumbles is the illustrious apple crumble, but they extend to the common use of berries, peaches, plums and delicious rhubarb.
Crumbles boomed in popularity in Britain during World War Two when the nation was in rationing mode and a crumble topping offered a more economical alternative to pies due to shortages of pastry ingredients.
I somehow find a soul connection to the generations of housewives throughout this time in history, who had to learn to be resourceful and frugal, yet still had the desire to put delicious and nourishing meals on the table for friends and family.
A crumble is an extremely versatile and budget friendly option, as toppings can be made from an array of pantry wholegrains and fats like butter, ghee or coconut oil, and glutinous grains can easily be switched up to include a mixture of nuts, seeds, gluten free grain flours and coconut. I sometimes add gluten free oats as a crunchy topping too. Sweeteners are also up for negotiation; utilising wholefood and low fructose sweeteners of your choice.
This crumble uses gorgeous rhubarb, which is packed with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are wonderful for supporting a thriving and energetic life. In traditional Chinese medicine, rhubarb is hailed for soothing stomach ailments and relieving constipation, and is also used as a poultice to reduce fevers and swelling.
Rhubarb is also an immune system supporting ingredient due to its high levels of vitamin C along with vitamin A for infection fighting and antioxidant protection that will extend to glowing skin, healthy mucous membranes and improved vision.
Enjoy this scrumptious crumble as a delightful and cosy dessert that will bring that joyous element of sweetness into your life without overloading your system with inflammatory wheat and sugar.
I really love providing desserts like this for last minute entertaining, as you can really be free with whatever seasonal fruits or berries you have on hand. I'm always surprised at how many compliments I get when I serve up a steaming seasonal crumble, and they barely require any kind of kitchen-wit!
You can also enjoy some sneaky leftovers on top of granola or porridge the next day for breakfast.
- Preheat oven to 175°C.
- Place rhubarb in a bowl with nutmeg, stevia and cinnamon and toss them to coat.
- Remove from bowl and layer them into a square pie or baking dish.
- In a food processor, process nuts until fine.
- Add butter and sea salt until crumbly.
- Sprinkle mixture over rhubarb and place in oven.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until crispy on top.
- Place in large saucepan and place remaining ingredients over the top.
- Bring to a boil and simmer gently until soft, about 10 minutes until rhubarb is cooked but still holds it shape add more water if required.
Why not give these pies a try and let me know what you think in the comments section below.