The most difficult thing about putting this post together was coming up with a name for this… well, crumble I guess? But it isn’t really a crumble either. It’s like a hybrid of a crumble, a cake and a chewy cookie. Or is it a crisp? Can someone please tell me what the difference between a crisp and a crumble is? For me, a crumble has actual crumbles on top, whilst this batter is more like a runny cake batter… Whatever it is, the caramelized topping is crunchy and chewy and pairs incredibly well with the tart rhubarb underneath. I’m so happy the first rhubarb is finally popping out of the ground! Now I’m just waiting for the strawberries as well.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while you probably know that I love pairing berries and rhubarb with cardamom. Ok, I love anything with cardamom. Really. And I love serving things with vanilla ice cream. All good.
I also finally got the chance to test my handcrafted pie server from Nershi woodworks. Isn’t it just beautiful?
Notes on this recipes
-I use a syrup that is made from cane sugar for this recipe, but I think maple syrup or corn syrup would work too.
-Feel free to switch out the lemon juice and zest for orange juice and zest, or flavor the rhubarb with vanilla and more cinnamon. Or ginger! I do love rhubarb and cardamom together though.
-The topping is very runny before baking, very much like a cake batter. It’s supposed to be like this, so don’t worry.
-You may notice that I didn’t use any thickener for the rhubarb. In pies with no crust in the bottom I don’t mind the juices of the fruit, but feel free to add 1 tbsp or so of cornstarch or thickener of your choice.
-Serve this pie either slightly hot or cold from the fridge, depending on your preferences. When cold it’s slightly more crunchy and chewy, almost like a cookie in texture.
For the topping
2/3 cup (150 g) salted butter (if using unsalted, add another pinch of salt to batter)
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) light syrup
1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp (100 ml) milk or half & half
3/4 cup + 1 1/2 (120 g) tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup (140 g) granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup (90 g) rolled oats
1/4 tsp sea salt flakes
For the rhubarb
400 g rhubarb (ends trimmed), about 5 stalks
zest from 1 small organic lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp (40 g) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter together with syrup and milk. Set aside to cool completely.
3. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sugar, oats and salt.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until smooth.
5. Cut the rhubarb into 1/2 – 2/3 inch (1 1/2 cm) pieces. In a large bowl, toss rhubarb with lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, cardamom and cinnamon. Put the rhubarb in a deep-dish pie plate (8-9 inches / 22-24 cm) and pour the topping over the rhubarb. Smooth topping with a spatula.
6. Bake in the center of the oven for 45-47 minutes or until topping is golden and rhubarb filling is bubbly. Let cool for a while before serving with vanilla ice cream.