So I am finally back at university after my 4 month summer…! Don’t get jealous now, I worked 8-5 every day, cycling to and from work, so I wasn’t dossing about. In fact university is somewhat of an easy ride in comparison! This year I am IN A HOUSE! Which, if you can’t tell from that exclamation, excites me greatly. This is the first thing I have cooked in my lovely new kitchen.
Being back at university, or more to the point in a city, means I get to indulge in one of my favourite activities: food bargain-hunting. You’d never guess which shop is the top of the pile when it comes to this particular sport: Waitrose. It’s a cheapskate’s paradise – they’re constantly reducing prices of going-out-of-date items all day, so no matter what time you go in you’re more than likely to find something. And if you time it just right, the patisserie/bakery mark down their fresh bread and cakes massively. 5p a doughnut? I’ll take 12 please! Having said all that, the rhubarb and pears for this recipe came from Sainsburys. 6 pears for 24p and 400g of rhubarb for 44p. Kerching. But I couldn’t mention the bargain-hunting without passing on my little tip.
But shhhh, it’s just between us, right?
5 small pears, chopped
400g rhubarb (approx. 3-4 sticks), chopped
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
sugar, to taste
handful chopped almonds/walnuts
couple handfuls raisins
couple handfulls oats
Preheat oven to 200oc/400oF/gas mark 6. Put the pears in a pan, add enough water to just cover them and heat to boiling then reduce to a simmer. Stir every so often until the fruit starts to soften. If you want your rhubarb as a sort of thick sauce add it when the fruit is harder, if you want the rhubarb to maintain some of its structure then add it when the fruit is softer. Once cooked/reduced, grate in the ginger and taste, adding sugar if the fruit is too tart.
For the topping, sieve the flour and sugar into a bowl and add the butter in small pieces. Use your hands to form crumbs, making sure there are no large clumps of butter. If your crumble is too “dusty” add a little more butter, if it is too clumpy add a tad more flour. Once you have reached the desired breadcrumb consistency and if you are including them stir in the s, raisins and oats.nuts
Pour the fruit into a large oven proof dish and tip the crumble on top, smoothing it across the surface. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and stick in the oven for half an hour, or until golden brown and bubbling.
Hey presto! Serve with custard. Or cream. Or ice-cream. Or be a fatty and do all three. Winner.