Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb Crumble with Star Anise

This easy Rhubarb Crumble is an extremely simple traditional English pudding. What makes this recipe special is the addition of star anise which gives it a wonderful mild aniseed flavour which goes brilliantly with the sweet-sour rhubarb.

In praise of fruit crumble

I am a big fan of fruit crumbles. They are pretty much fool-proof, can use a range of different fruit depending on the season and what is available and, like this one, it is really easy to add a unique flavour twist with a bit of spice. They are also the perfect make-ahead dessert and are very versatile as they can be eaten cold, at room-temperature or hot from the oven. Just add a dollop of custard, cream or ice-cream and you have the perfect warming, comforting pudding.

I make Apple Crumble all year around but, in spring and early summer, Rhubarb Crumble is my favourite. This is largely because I have a very large rhubarb plant in my garden. We inherited it when we moved into our current house and for many years I tried to get rid of it as it is literally in the middle of our main flower bed. Also, at that point, it was not something I particularly wanted to cook or eat. The giant rhubarb plant stubbornly resisted all my attempts to kill it and gradually I gave in and decided to try and cook with it. Now it is one of my favourite ingredients and I actively look forward to rhubarb season. In addition to crumble, I also make lots of other rhubarb recipes including Rhubarb Gin, Rhubarb Fool, Rhubarb Compote, Rhubarb Roulade, Rhubarb Jam and Rhubarb Curd.

Rhubarb

Things you need to know about Rhubarb Crumble

As with all crumbles, it is very easy to make. You do not need to cook the rhubarb in advance. You simply wash and cut up the rhubarb stalks and add them to the dish.

A basic Rhubarb Crumble recipe is very simple to make but there are lots of ways that you can make it a bit different.

  • In this recipe, I add star anise to provide a bit of flavour enhancement. Other spices that you could add include cardamon (1 teaspoon of ground cardamon powder or 3 cardamon pods), ginger (1 teaspoon of ground ginger) or vanilla (1 teaspoon of vanilla extract).
  • Orange is also a great flavour partner to rhubarb so adding the zest and juice of a small orange to the rhubarb pieces is also a great way to enhance your crumble.
  • A scattering of almonds (or hazelnuts or pine nuts) on top of the crumble topping is also a very good addition. Add them five minutes before the end of the cooking time so that they will be toasted but not burnt.

What is star anise?

Star anise is a spice, shaped like a five-pointed star, which is made from the fruit of the Chinese evergreen tree Illicium verum. It is one of the most popular spices used in Chinese cooking and provides the dominant flavour in Chinese five spice powder. It is also widely used in Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian dishes. I think the star shaped seed pods are pretty but they are quite large and hard so using ready ground Star Anise powder, or grinding it yourself, is a good option. It adds an aniseed flavour to food and, in addition to rhubarb, is a good flavour partner with roast meat, especially pork and duck and in curries. In fact, it is most widely used in savoury, rather than sweet, recipes.

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Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb Crumble with Star Anise

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Pudding
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This easy recipe takes traditional Rhubarb Crumble to a new level with the addition of star anise which provides a subtle aniseed flavour.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 stems of fresh rhubarb
  •  6 tablespoons of caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground star anise or 3 whole star anise pods
  • 175 g butter or vegetable fat
  • 350 g plain flour
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • Flaked almonds

 

Rhubarb


Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 180 C, 400 F or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Wash your rhubarb stems and then cut them into 1 cm lengths.
  3. Put the rhubarb pieces in a baking dish (20 cm x 28 cm).  Sprinkle with caster sugar.  You will need approximately one and a half tablespoons of sugar for each rhubarb stem.  If you are wary of the sourness of rhubarb, you can add two tablespoons of sugar for each stem.
  4. If you are using ground star anise sprinkle it over the rhubarb. If you are using whole star anise seedpods add them to the dish.  You will get a milder flavour if you are using the whole seedpods.  You will also need to let people know that they are there!
  5. Next make the crumble topping.  Put the 350 g flour and 175 g butter (or vegetable fat) in a bowl and “rub in” using your fingers,  or use a food processor, until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.  Then stir in the 175 g of caster sugar.
  6. Pour the crumble topping on top of the rhubarb.
  7. Place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 35 minutes.
  8. If you wish, you can sprinkle some flaked almonds on top of the crumble for the final 5 minutes that it is in the oven.  They should get brown and toasted (but not burnt) if they are added at this stage.

Rhubarb Crumble


Keywords: rhubarb, crumble, star anise, dessert, pudding, recipe

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with Lost in Food Feast Glorious Feast, and #Fiesta Friday with Fiesta Friday, [email protected] and [email protected], Spoons and Spatulas

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Apple Crumble Recipe

Basic Apple Crumble Recipe

This basic Apple Crumble recipe is the perfect introduction to classic English puddings and pudding-making in general. It is very quick and easy to make, can be produced a day ahead and is great either hot from the oven or at room temperature. Pretty much everyone loves apple-based desserts – from apple pie to baked apples – so it is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser too. I love to eat it with a drizzle of double cream but you can also eat it with custard, which is probably more traditional, or with a good vanilla ice cream.

I use only cooking apples in my crumble. These are apples which will disintegrate to a mush when cooked so that you have a thick apple puree at the base of your crumble. Eating apples will retain some firmness when cooked. If you want a bit more texture to your crumble, you can use a combination of half cooking apples and half eating apples. In my view, just using eating apples for a crumble doesn’t really work as they do not give that soft, thick apple sauce that you need for this kind of pudding. Keep the eating apples for deserts such as tarte tatin where you want your apples to keep their shape.

The only flavouring, apart from apples, is cinnamon which is a classic flavour companion. The smell of warm cinnamon-spiced apples is guaranteed to make you feel warm and cosy on a cold winter’s day.

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Apple crumble

Apple Crumble Recipe

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Pudding
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This basic Apple Crumble recipe is a classic English pudding which brings together cinnamon-flavoured apples with a crisp, buttery topping.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 kg cooking apples (eg Bramleys)
  • 25 to 50 g caster sugar 
  • A little ground cinnamon
  • 175 g butter or vegetable fat
  • 350 g plain flour
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • Pinenuts or flaked almonds

Apple Crumble


Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 180 C, 400 F or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Peel and core the cooking apples.  Cut into pieces of approximately 1 cm.
  3. Put the apple pieces in a large baking dish (20 cm x 28 cm).  Sprinkle with caster sugar.  You will need between 25 g and 50 g.  The amount of sugar depend on the sourness of the apples and also how sweet you like your crumble.  You can taste a piece of the apple to see how sour it is.   Add a little ground cinnamon.
  4. Next make the crumble topping.  Put the 350 g flour and 175 g butter (or vegetable fat) in a bowl and “rub in” using your fingers,  or use a food processor, until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.  Then stir in the 175 g of caster sugar.
  5. Pour the crumble topping on top of the apples.
  6. Place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
  7. If you wish, you can sprinkle some pinenuts or flaked almonds on top of the crumble for the final 5 minutes that it is in the oven.  They should get brown and toasted (but not burnt) if they are added at this stage.

Apple Crumble


Notes

You can eat your crumble hot from the oven or at room temperature.  I think it is best at room temperature, not a traditional view (!), as it brings out the flavours of apple and cinnamon.

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with Apply to Face Blog and #FiestaFriday with Fiesta Friday 

Loved this recipe? You may also like the following recipes. Or checkout the Recipe Index.
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Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding

Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding gives a citrus boost to a traditional Bread and Butter pudding. In addition to marmalade, it also includes fresh orange zest and orange liqueur which boost the citrus flavour.

I love traditional British puddings and think they are particularly well-suited to our somewhat cold and damp winters. Bread and Butter Pudding is probably one of the quickest and easiest to make. It was actually the first pudding I ever made when I was eleven in a school “domestic science” class and it has regularly featured in my children’s school cookery lessons over the years. It is the perfect pudding for children to make due to its simplicity. I make Bread and Butter Pudding a lot and it is pretty much my go-to recipe when I suddenly realise that I need to make something to follow the Sunday roast. It can be made very quickly and you are likely to have all the ingredients in your store cupboard.

This Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding is a traditional variant on the basic Bread and Butter Pudding. It is also known as Osborne Pudding, allegedly because Queen Victoria enjoyed it when she stayed at Osborne House, her palatial holiday home on the Isle of Wight. Osborne Pudding is generally made with brown bread but I use either brown or white depending on what I happen to have available. The fresh orange zest and orange liqueur are my additions, as I think they enhance the flavour, and are not traditionally included.

Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding

Other easy puddings

I do not have a particularly sweet tooth. I am definitely a crisps rather than chocolate kind of person. However, I do love a home-made pudding. During the week, we aim to be healthy and will eat fruit or sometimes yogurt after our evening meal. However, I generally cook a big Sunday lunch, including a roast for the meat-lovers, and I will always follow it up with a pudding. During the summer, I will often go for home-made ice cream which can be made in advance, often with a floral note such as Rose Ice Cream or Lavender Ice Cream, or something involving meringue such as my Lemon Pavlova. However, in winter I will go for something with a bit more substance! That is when I will produce Bread and Butter Pudding, fruit crumble or, a particular favourite with my youngest son, Banoffee Pie.

Easy Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding

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Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding

Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 68 1x
  • Category: Pudding
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding, containing fresh orange zest and orange liqueur,  is a citrus twist on a traditional English recipe.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 thin slices of white or brown bread
  • Butter
  • Marmalade
  • 3 teaspoons of orange liqueur (optional)
  • Zest of one orange
  • 500 ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 25 g soft dark brown sugar plus a little more to sprinkle on top


Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 180 C, 350 F or Gas Mark 4.

  2. Butter an oven-proof dish.
  3. Butter your slices of bread and spread with marmalade.   Place in the buttered oven-proof dish.
  4. If you wish, sprinkle each slice with a little orange liqueur.
  5. Grate the orange zest over the bread slices.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs and 25 g brown sugar.  Whisk until combined and then pour over the bread slices.  Sprinkle a little more brown sugar on top of the mixture.
  7. If possible, leave for around 15 minutes so that the bread absorbs some of the milky mixture.
  8. Place the oven-proof dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the custard is set and the top is golden and crispy.


Keywords: bread and butter, pudding, bread pudding, marmalade, osborne

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with Lost in Food and #FiestaFriday with Fiesta Friday  and Antonia at Zoale

Loved this recipe? You may also like the following recipes. Or checkout the Recipe Index.

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Easy Poached Pears

Easy Poached Pears with Marsala Wine
Easy Poached Pears

Easy Poached Pears

This recipe for  Easy Poached Pears is a fantastic make-ahead autumn or winter dessert.  The cooking time is quite long but the preparation time is very short and extremely simple – basically you just need to peel the pears!

There is something very autumnal about pears.  I love eating them just as they are.  However, it is often quite difficult to get them at just the right stage of ripeness – one day they are hard and unripe and the next day they are soft and squishy!  The beauty of cooking with pears is that you do not need to use ripe  ones.  This recipe is best made with unripe pears which then become beautifully soft and fragranced with Marsala wine, cinnamon and vanilla, during the cooking process.

Marsala is a fortified Italian wine which is generally widely available.  If you do not have any Marsala wine, you could use red wine, port, cider or perry (pear cider) as alteratives.

The recipe is based on Delia Smith’s Pears Baked in Marsala Wine but I cook the pears for a shorter time and do not add arrowroot to thicken the sauce as I prefer it to be thinner.

Easy Poached Pears

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Easy Poached Pears with Marsala

Easy Poached Pears

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 120
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

Easy Poached Pears is a make-ahead autumnal recipe which transforms unripe pears into a sumptuous dessert through slow cooking them with Marsala Wine, cinnamon and vanilla.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 6 unripe pears
  • 600 ml Marsala
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (or a vanilla pod)

Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 250 F/130 C/Gas Mark 0.5.
  2. Remove the skins from the pears using a vegetable peeler.   Take a thin slice of the base of each pear.  This will give it a flat bottom so that it will stand up on the plate when it has been cooked.
  3. Put the Marsala, sugar, cinnamon stick and vanilla essence into a heavy casserole.  Heat until the liquid is simmering and the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Place the pears in the casserole on their sides.    Put the lid on the casserole and place in the oven.
  5. Bake for 1 hour and then turn the pears so that their other side is in the liquid.  Bake for a further 1 hour.
  6. Remove the pears from the liquid and set aside in a dish to cool.
  7. Place the casserole containing the liquid  on the top of the stove and boil rapidly with the lid off for around 10 minutes.   The liquid will  reduce by about one third.
  8. Place both the pears and the liquid separately in the fridge to chill.  When you are ready to serve, place the pears on  individual plates and pour some of the liquid over them.   Good accompaniments are whipped cream or a mixture of half whipped cream and half mascarpone or vanilla ice cream.

Notes

This is a vegan recipe and can be served with non-dairy cream or ice-cream.

If you don’t have Marsala Wine, you can use red wine, port, cider or perry (pear cider) as alternatives.

Keywords: pears, marsala, vegetarian, vegan, dessert

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Summer Pudding recipe

Summer Pudding recipe with redcurrants, raspberries and strawberries
Traditional English Summer Pudding

Summer Pudding recipe

This Summer Pudding recipe is an English classic.   Like many old-fashioned English recipes, it was developed to make use of stale bread in times when there was an imperative not to waste food and products had a shorter shelf-life due to lack of preservatives.   In the winter, Bread and Butter Pudding, was a popular way to use up bread that was past its best and in July and August,  when berries were in season, Summer Pudding was the answer!

Slices of bread, dipped in berry-flavoured syrup, are used to encase a mixture of summer berries.   One of the great things about this Summer Pudding recipe is that it can be adapted to the ingredients that you have available.  You can use any berries that are in season but make sure that you include some currants – either redcurrants or blackcurrants – as they are needed to produce the flavourful syrup.

Summer Pudding recipe
Fresh berries

Summer Pudding recipe

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Summer Pudding recipe with redcurrants, raspberries and strawberries

Summer Pudding recipe

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: for 6 people 1x
  • Category: Pudding
  • Cuisine: English

Description

An easy to make, no-cook,  traditional English bread pudding recipe using fresh seasonal berries.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo mixed fresh berries (NB: the mix should include some currants but otherwise use whatever you have available from: redcurrants, blackcurrants, raspberries, loganberries, tayberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries etc)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 170 g caster sugar
  • 6 slices of white bread (crusts removed)
Summer Pudding recipe
Fresh berries

Instructions

  1. Place the currants in a saucepan together with the water and sugar. Heat until the currants have softened.  This will take about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the other berries to the saucepan with the currants and stir to combine.
  3. Use a sieve to separate the berries from the juice.
  4. Take a sheet of cling film and use it to line the inside of a small pudding basin.    This will make it easier to get the pudding out of the basin!
  5. Dip the slices of bread in the juice and use it to line the bottom and sides of the small pudding basin. You can fill in any gaps with small pieces of juice-dipped bread.
  6. Pour the berries into the bread-lined pudding basin.
  7. Cover the top of the basin with juice-dipped bread to enclose the berry mixture.
  8. Put a piece of cling film loosely over the top of the pudding basin. Put a small saucer on top of it and use something heavy (a can of beans is perfect!) to weigh it down.
  9. Leave the pudding basin in the fridge overnight.
  10. When you are ready to serve, remove the cling film from the top of the pudding basin.  Invert the basin onto a plate. Give it a sharp shake and remove the basin leaving the pudding on the plate.   Take off the cling film that you used to line the basin.
  11. Serve chilled.   Whipped cream is a good accompaniment.
Summer Pudding recipe
Summer Pudding

Notes

  • Use whatever berries are available but make sure you include some redcurrants or blackcurrants as you need these to make the flavoured syrup.
  • You need to make this recipe a day in advance of when you wish to eat it as it needs to be kept in the fridge overnight to ensure that it stays in shape when turned out.
  • This is a vegan recipe.

Keywords: summer pudding, english, berries, strawberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants

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