I love going to the farmer’s market every week to see what new produce is finally in season, so I can create fresh and delicious things in my kitchen. One of my favourite things to hold out for is local rhubarb. I used to have the privilege of what seemed like a never ending free supply from my mom’s garden, but alas, I’m a little too far away, and don’t have a garden to grow my own. So I will gladly support some local growers when it comes to my favourite vegetable that we treat as a fruit.
When I finally saw some big bunches at the local market (you must remember – our growing season is a little delayed up north), I made sure to scoop some up so I could enjoy that tart ruby red stalk right away, and to freeze some for later. My default is to usually just cook up the rhubarb with some water and a touch of sugar, and eat it as is or mixed in yogurt. But I was in a baking mood, and had just picked up these adorable individual baking dishes, so crumble seemed like the way to go.
I kept it simple, to showcase the rhubarb. Sure, I could have added rhubarb’s usual paring of strawberries, but I wanted wanted that rhubarb flavour to shine! Paired with an oat crumb topping scented with vanilla, and sweetened just enough with a little brown sugar, these turned out to be the perfect rustic dessert for our dinner that night. They are even easy enough to make when you want to fancy up a ho-hum weeknight meal. And while we ate ours as is, they would also be fantastic served warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Just sayin’ ;)
Vanilla Rhubarb Crumble
makes 4 individual crumbles
Use up that over abundance of rhubarb – fresh or frozen – to make these vanilla scented individual crumbles for a rustic end to any meal. Easy to make, full of fibre, and just the right balance of sweet to tart. No one needs to know they are actually eating vegetables for dessert!
- 4 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 cup oats
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place 4 individual ramekins on a baking sheet.
2. In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and cornstarch. Divide evenly between ramekins. It’s okay if they seem overly full – the rhubarb will cook down.
3. In a small bowl, combine the oats, butter, vanilla, salt, and remaining brown sugar until it forms a crumble. Divide evenly over the top of each of the ramekins, packing it down so it stays put.
4. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until crumbles are bubbling and the topping is golden brown. If the topping seems to be cooking too fast, cover with tin foil 20 minutes into cooking time.
Note: Feel free to use other fruits instead of rhubarb, but you may need to increase the cornstarch if the fruit has more liquid.
Happy Canada Day to my fellow residents of the Great White North! Wear your red and white, enjoy some sunshine, and eat something tasty!