This is a classic rhubarb crumble recipe bit with a little twixt by adding stem ginger and porridge oats to make the best crumble mix ever. It is an absolutely delicious combination of flavours and can be really nicely served with thick Jersey cream or cold custard. There are two different types of rhubarb available: forced and naturally grown. The forced rhubarb is brighter pink in colour, has delicious spindly shoots and is much more tender. Rhubarb dating back to 2000 BC in China, where it was used only for medicinal purposes. It is funny fact, because it is not actually very nutricious – it is mainly made up of water. Wash and trim the rhubarb stems before use. Discard the leaves as they are poisonous. If using outdoor-grown rhubarb, remove any stringy outer layers. Cut into equal-sized pieces to ensure even cooking. Forced rhubarb is very fragile so poach or bake only briefly to prevent it from disintegrating into a mush. Use a thick sugar syrup as it releases a lot of juice. Outdoor-grown rhubarb has a sharper taste and more fibrous texture, so requires a slightly longer cooking. Both varieties of rhubarb are good in pies, tarts, fools, jellies and ices.
1 kg rhubarb, trimmed and sliced into large chunks
200 g soft brown sugar
zest and juice of 1 orange
100 g plain flower
100 g brown butter
100 g oats
2 pieces of stem ginger, chopped
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Put the rhubarb and half the sugar into a pan. Add the orange juice and zest, put a lid on top, bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes. remove the lid and simmer for around 5 more minutes, until the rhubarb has soften slightly. Spoon into an ovenproof baking dish or individual dishes and spread out evenly across the bottom.
To make the crumble topping, use your fingers to lightly rub together the flour and butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the oats, the rest of the sugar and the stem ginger. Sprinkle the crumble overthe rhubarb and bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the rhubarb is bubbling up and the crumble is golden.