Experience has taught me that travel en famille for the Grieve clan is NEVER without incident and the journey from Cameroon to Northern Ireland was no exception to the rule. This time we were divested of our dinner service at Nsimalen airport and then due to a 3½ hour delay at Istanbul airport (due to construction work on the runway), we missed our onward flight from Nice to Belfast. More than once security staff scrutinized our hand luggage and questioned its acceptability, but we did manage to retain the sewing machine and Kenwood Chef stand despite initial opposition. After an overnight stay in Nice and fevered deliberations as to how to proceed, we rerouted via Bristol and reached our destination a day later than planned. Settling in is a slow and at times enjoyable process. There is a plethora of new recipes to try and no real need to agonise about how to make appropriate substitutions.
I have been researching fruit crumbles and crisps and the possible combinations are seemingly endless. In order to approach this broad topic in an orderly fashion, I decided that we would try using only fruit that is in season. Apricots, blackcurrants and strawberries are in season this month, but the only time strawberries and rhubarb are both in season is mid-May to the end of June so Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble was the obvious choice for our first crumble experiment. I am not a rhubarb connoisseur, but the aroma escaping from the crumble cooking in the oven was delicious and the crumble itself was top-notch. If you have never tried a strawberry-rhubarb combination, then I strongly recommend giving it a go and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. If a crumble doesn’t tickle your fancy, then perhaps a strawberry-rhubarb pie, loaf or bars would inspire you to try this new taste sensation.
Sahel Family Rating: ***
Makes 6 to 8 servings
200 ml plain flour
180 ml rolled oats
5 ml baking powder
45 ml sugar
45 ml Demerara or turbinado sugar
pinch of salt
zest of one lemon
105 g unsalted butter, melted
300 g rhubarb, chopped into 1.5 cm pieces
220 g hulled and halved or quartered, depending on size
juice of one lemon
120 ml sugar
45-50 ml cornflour
pinch of salt
Heat oven to 190°C.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, sugars, salt and lemon zest and add the melted butter. Mix until small and large clumps form. Refrigerate until needed.
For the filling, toss rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornflour and a pinch of salt in a 23 cm deep-dish pie plate.
Remove topping from refrigerator and cover fruit thickly and evenly with topping. Place pie plate on a baking sheet, and bake until crumble topping is golden brown in places and fruit is bubbling beneath, about 40 to 50 minutes.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen