Saturday, 30 May 2009

A Tale of Two Crumbles

It was Pete's birthday on Wednesday. And I singularly failed to get him any birthday presents at all. I claim mitigating circumstances though, as he's resolutely refused to come up with any ideas at all for things he wants.

So, whilst out buying something for lunch at work, I picked up some rhubarb as a last-minute present. He loves rhubarb, you see, but seldom buys it because I can't stand it. I do encourage him to buy it anyway just for himself, but he never does. So I bought him some sticks of rhubarb for his birthday.

After close consultation it became clear that rhubarb crumble was his preferred recipe. As we were going to dinner at a friend's house on Friday (whose birthday falls a few days after Pete's), I decided to make two crumbles for dessert that evening; one rhubarb crumble and another pear and apple one.

The rhubarb was stewed with some sugar and a healthy splash of port (thanks to a tip from a colleague, cheers Vic!).

The (eating not cooking) apples and pears were similarly treated, however I completely forgot that apples break down much faster than similarly hard pears so the result was port pink apple compote with chunks of pears!

For the crumble topping I mixed approximately two parts flour to one part sugar and one part butter. For the sugar I used about a third dark brown and the rest white.

These went into three plastic boxes for transportation to our friend's house, along with suitable dishes in which to assemble them.

I spread the fruit fillings into my two dishes and spread the raw crumble topping over them both.

Once both crumbles were covered in a generous layer of topping they went into the oven for 30-45 minutes.

They came out looking beautiful! The good news is that they tasted great too!


Michelle said...

Men, men, men! The real question is what do men want? I struggle just as much with my husband who never wants anything. For our anniversary I got him a present and he hated it. Now I'm scarred and didn't get him anything for his birthday. At least I made him a proper meal, just like you did. :-)

Helen Yuet Ling Pang said...

What a present! I can't quite decide which one I would like more. Do you like your crumble with fresh custard / creme anglais or ice cream?!

Kavey said...

Custard for me but slightly thinner than the normal, thick, stodgy affair of our childhoods! On this occasion I cheated and bought some Waitrose ready-made custard, which I really like. Lots of real vanilla, a nice, subtle flavour and good consistency!

Kavey said...

Michelle, it's difficult isn't it? Another problem is that the few things he generally does want through the year - a few books and CDs, a couple of computer games - he usually buys at the time. There are sometimes one or two outstanding and I'm under fire to pass these ideas on to parents and siblings! In the past, I've taken him away for his birthday. He adores Islay whisky and the annual whisky and music festival there coincides with Pete's birthday so that's been good for two birthdays.

Katerina said...

I am just getting into pears, I will totally have to make a crumble.

Anonymous said...

The latter pairing, pun intended, sounds like a great autumn dessert (apples and pears) as well, and I might add a little bit of toasted chopped pecans to the crumble topping.
can you give approximations for the amount of sugar to add to (a) the rhubarb, and (b) the apples and pears?

Kavey said...

Elaine, I'm ever so sorry. I went by utter approximation. For the rhubarb I shook some in from the bag and then had husband taste it later (I don't like rhubarb). For the apple and pear I didn't add much as the fruit is much sweeter, but again, just shook in a little, tasted once it had been mixed in and added a tiny bit more.

Sorry not to be more specific!