My friend Ian in London gave me Niki Segnit’s wonderful book: The Flavor Thesaurus. She talks in the book about food/flavor pairings….so when after picking up some rhubarb at the market I thought I would take a look and see what inspiration I might find. Turns out the strawberry Rhubarb combo is a “standard” American thing. Ginger is often paired with Rhubabr because Ms. Segnit says: “came about because it was considered good for the bowels…” She, however, isn’t thrilled by the combination: “the two flavors seem a little annoyed with each other.” On that I would have to disagree with her, but so do others as she points out.
The other pairing that could my eye was almond, in this case amaretto and Oatmeal. As I realized too late that I was out of any nuts to grind into my crumble I made it with rolled oats instead and it was a great substitution that I will make again.
Understandably most of you who read this blog often will be rolling your eyes at yet another crumble recipe, but what can I tell you, I think crumbles are one of the best ways to show off seasonal fruit and I was excited to share this new flavor pairing.
Strawberry, Rhubarb, Ginger, Oatmeal Crumble
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Butter a 9″ square pan or something close I always use my clay rectangular baking dish from Spain which is 8″ x 11″.
Trim and cut into 1 -2 ” chunks 2 pounds of Rhubarb. Stem and slice in half or more if the berries are huge a Quart of strawberries.
Combine the two into a large bowl along with 1/4 cup all purpose flour and 1 2/3 cups sugar and 1/3 cup roughly chopped crystalized ginger. Mix together to combine – I use my hands.
In the bowl of a standing mixer add 12 Tablespoons of unsalted butter and with the paddle attachment whip it until soft and fluffy, add 6 tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of white sugar, turn the machine back on medium speed until the butter and sugar mixture is well combined. Add 1 cup rolled oats and 1 cup of all purpose flour (whole wheat works just as well) 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix again at medium speed until everything has come together. The mixture should be buttery and moist if not add a little more butter, you don’t want it to be dry.
Place the fruit in the prepared baking dish and cover with the crumble mixture. Place in the oven and cook about 40-50 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the crumble browned.
Serve with unsweetened whip cream or heavy clotted cream or vanilla ice cream if you really want to guild the lily.