When my parents came over for lunch last weekend, we picked a whole heap of rhubarb for them to take away with them - and, of course, forgot to give it to them.
So, I've had four or five big sticks of rhubarb getting right in the way in my fridge ever since. My intention has been to find some use for them, be it a crumble, or maybe the fruit layer of a sponge for dessert, or perhaps a fool.
Indecision and lack of time resulted in their still being in the fridge by the following weekend - where they'd been joined by a mango which was rock-hard when it was delivered, but has since ripened on a sunny window ledge and been put in the fridge to chill down. I hadn't a clue what I was going to do with that, either.
Bank Holiday Monday appeared and they were still glowering at me from the fridge. I knew that I hadn't got many more days before they both expired, all unloved and apparently unwanted, and couldn't let that happen.
So, while I was trying to concentrate on writing out a shopping list, they were on my mind. So much so, I paused my shopping list writing to enquire of the Twitterverse whether anyone thought that rhubarb & mango would go well together, particularly in a crumble?
There came back an emphatic "yes" from three Tweeps, @madamding, @willipmrpip and @stovemonster who all pronounced themselves hugely interested in the end result. So, this crumble is dedicated to them, as without their votes of confidence it might never have been made - which would have been a real pity!
Because of the way that rhubarb disintegrates when it is cooked, I opted not to pre-cook the fruit. Hence, it was a bit of a juggling act with regard to the sugar content. However, because the mango was extremely juicy (over-ripe, in fact) and consequently very sweet, I under-estimated the sugar - with perfect results. The fruit kept it's shape (more or less) and the rhubarb and mango did a kind of sharp/sweet tango on your tongue. With the lovely oaty, buttery crumble on top (which could have been more crumbly, but the butter was rock hard and my fingers had frozen to death by then, so rubbing it in was difficult), it was a completely delicious thing to make.
RHUBARB & MANGO CRUMBLE (serves 4)
3-4 large sticks of rhubarb, cut into 1" pieces
a large mango, skinned and diced
2-3 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp porridge oats
2 tbsp granulated sugar
30-40g butter, cut into small dice.
1. Place the cut rhubarb and mango dice into a baking dish. Sprinkle with the granulated sugar and mix to combine.
2. In a separate bowl, add all the crumble ingredients and rub the butter in to the flour and oats, until the whole resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Sprinkle the crumble mixture onto the fruit, taking care not to pat it down at all. Let it just rest there, and it will stay light in texture.
4. Bake in a moderate oven (180deg C) for around 35-45 minutes or until the crumble is toasty brown on top. I stopped mine a little early, as the juice was threatening to overwhelm the crumble.
Serve with double cream.