Rhubarb & Gingerbread Crumble

by Sam Bilton on June 21, 2013 No comments

Rhubarb & gingerbread crumble

Serves 6 – 8

I know what you’re thinking. Why do I need a recipe for crumble when it’s summer? Let’s face it British summer time is notoriously fickle. So when the inclement weather chases away the fleeting appearances of sunshine this is just the dessert to cheer you up. It’s especially good with ginger ice cream but I’m saving that recipe for another rainy day…

I got the idea for pre-cooking the crumble topping from Raymond Blanc. It does indeed avoid the gluey consistency you sometimes get when a crumble has been sitting for a while soaking up the fruit juices. Just make sure you don’t spread the crumble mix over the fruit until just before you are ready to bake it.


  • 800g fresh rhubarb cut into 2cm lengths
  • 3 tbsp ginger wine or water
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 275g plain flour
  • 2½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • 100g soft, dark brown sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1½ tsp treacle


  1. Place the rhubarb in a large saucepan with the granulated sugar and ginger wine (if you have it) or water. Stew gently until the rhubarb is soft and relatively mushy. Transfer to an oven proof dish large enough to accommodate the fruit and the crumble topping.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Place the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blitz until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. You could do this by hand but I find it easier (particularly where the treacle is concerned) to get a more even mix of the ingredients with a food processor.
  4. Spread the crumble topping onto a lightly greased, shallow baking tray. Place in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes (this will very much depend on how large a tray you use). You want the mixture to have hardened into a large biscuit without being too brown. Allow to cool on the tray (it will continue to harden as it cools).
  5. Once the crumble has cooled transfer to a plastic bag then bash with a rolling pin (the same as you would if you were making the base for a cheesecake with digestive biscuits). I like my crumble topping to be quite coarse but feel free to pulverise it to a finer consistency if that suits you better. Both the rhubarb and crumble topping can be prepared in advance.
  6. Shortly before you are ready to serve the crumble, preheat the oven to 180°C. Spread the crushed crumble over the fruit. Bake for 15 – 30 minutes (dependent on whether you are cooking the crumble from cold or room temperature). Serve hot with ice cream or custard.
Sam BiltonRhubarb & Gingerbread Crumble

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