Rhubarb Crumble

Who doesn’t like a good crumble?

For me, crumbles need to have a crispy topping that sort of snaps a bit when your serving spoon goes through it on its way to find the fruit underneath…fruit that is heavy on acidity to cut through any sweetness in that crumble topping. And that describes a well-executed rhubarb crumble.

Most traditional crumble recipes simply combine flour, sugar and lots of fat – mostly butter. Vegan recipes tend to go for the simple alternative and use heavily processed vegan butter, margarine or coconut fat. I prefer to take a different route and combine cashew butter with a bit of unprocessed rapeseed oil in my mixture. For added depth of flavor and crispiness, I include some ground hazelnuts and oat flakes with my flour…and of course a good brown sugar and plenty of spices!

Try serving with a good spoonful of vanilla cashew cream…or if you’re feeling lazy, just a bit of soy yogurt!

Difficulty: simple
Yield: makes about 4-6 servings

  • 750 grams (1 1/2 pounds) rhubarb

  • 4 tablespoons castor sugar

  • 100 grams (3 ½ ounces) muscovado sugar

  • 50 grams (2 ounces) ground hazelnuts

  • 75 grams (2 1/2 ounces) oat flakes

  • ½ teaspoon ground vanilla bean (see tips)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • 2 tablespoons psyllium husk (see tips)

  • 70 grams (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour

  • 50 grams (1/3 cup) coconut flour

  • 60 grams (1/4 cup) cashew butter

  • 60 grams (1/4 cup) unrefined rapeseed oil

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
  • Begin by preparing the rhubarb. Wash well and cut into 5-cm (2-inch) pieces. Add the rhubarb to a bowl and add the castor sugar to the rhubarb. Mix well to coat evenly, then add the rhubarb and sugar to the baking dish – I use a dish that will hold the rhubarb in a double layer.
  • Make the crumble topping by combining in a bowl the muscovado sugar, ground hazelnuts, oat flakes and all the spices and sea salt. Mix well, then add the psyllium husk and flours. Mix until well combined.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine the cashew butter and rapeseed oil. Mix until emulsified and smooth. Add the cashew butter-oil mixture to the flour mixture and combine until mixed – I like to use my fingers for this job. The mixture should be slightly wet and hold together when pinched. Top the rhubarb with the crumble mixture and put into the preheated oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden on top. Enjoy warm or cold.

Jack’s Fresh Tip

You can use other sugars to replace muscovado sugar. Try an American style soft brown sugar or any other natural cane sugar.

You can make your own ground vanilla bean by drying it at room temperature, then grinding the bean in a coffee grinder. Alternatively, just look for some online or at a health food store. You can add a couple drops of vanilla extract to replace the ground up version I favor.

Psyllium husk works as a binder for the crumble. Use ground flax seeds or ground chia seeds as alternatives.

Replace the all-purpose flour with buckwheat flour for a gluten-free alternative. Buckwheat provides a deep flavor and works well with rhubarb (they come from the same plant family).

The oil can be left out of this recipe is you like. Replace the amounts of oil by adding an additional 30 grams (about 2-3 tablespoons) of cashew butter and about 60 ml. (1/4 cup) non-dairy milk – perhaps a bit of almond milk?

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