Home-grown rhubarb – check (this is SO exciting! We have a rhubarb forest in our garden!!!!)
Enthusiastic toddler – check
Contained pre-tod (a child who is no longer a baby, but not yet a toddler) – check
Personalised aprons – check (from Little Chook)
Ingredients – check (see recipe below)
Helpful husband armed with camera – check
Beautiful recipe book – check
Right, we’re ready to go. Here’s the recipe we used today, it’s one of my mum’s, so is tried and tested, and is DELICIOUS. It’s also still in pounds and ounces, so you’ll need to turn your scales over to see if you can switch between grams and ounces before you start.
6oz plain flour
6oz sugar – we used a mix of caster and brown)
3oz unsalted butter
approx. 10 sticks of rhubarb, washed
Preheat oven to about 180 fan (I always just stick the oven on, and it seems to work around 180 fan, but I’ve never actually written down the exact temp. my mum uses).
Chop rhubarb into small pieces. Archie Bear was given his own knife, and was heavily supervised, and loved it. He was so happy to be trusted to chop up the rhubarb he pulled out of his own garden, and really listened to everything I said (for once).
Put into an oven-proof dish and sprinkle extra sugar over the top. We used brown sugar for this as Daddy Bear is particularly partial.
Remember the pre-tod. During the chopping, Teddy Bear was getting rather annoyed that he wasn’t involved in all the fun, so Archie Bear gave him a stick of rhubarb to chew on. He seemed to enjoy it…
Weigh out flour and chop butter into little bits in the same bowl. This is when it gets messy. Enjoy it and go with it. There will be flour on the floor, on the worktop, on your child’s face, hair, hands, apron, etc. and then there will be butter too…well, I did the butter while Archie Bear was still stirring the flour with his hands, so we didn’t get butter all over the place today.
Get your hands in! Rub the flour and butter together with your fingertips. My Home Ec. teacher told my 12-year-old self that the trick is to not get flour on the palms of your hands, just your fingers, as your palms are hotter and ruin the crumble mix/pastry/whatever you’re crumbling! Funny what your remember, eh?? You’re aiming for fine breadcrumbs and all the big chunks of butter to be gone.
Stir the sugar in. Again, Archie Bear had his own spoon, and always has his own utensils whenever we cook. We even have some mini spatulas for him to use when we’re making cakes.
Pour the crumble over the rhubarb. We had so much fun shaking the crumble over and making sure it reached all the corners. We used to really pack the crumble down over the top, until I saw a chef on TV say to just be gentle with it and leave it as it falls, and you know what? IT’S YUMMY.
Bake. Leave it in the oven for 40mins – an hour, checking regularly after the first 40mins. When it’s done the crumble should be that lovely ‘golden brown’ everyone talks about and there should be gorgeous rhubarb juices bubbling up around the edges. No perfect crumbles here, just messy, home-made yummy-ness.
Yum, yum, yummmmmmmmmm. Now to make the custard and eat it all! Not quite in keeping with my no-sugar plan (read about it here), but I’m not being too strict about it. Hope you all enjoy making this with your little ones, and I know that our crumble topping is pretty plain compared to other recipes out there, feel free to add in oats, nuts, whatever you can think of.