If a couple of weeks ago the rhubarb stalks were still looking unseasonably skinny in the garden then the plentiful water that’s been coming down from the skies as of recent have corrected that and we’re now looking at a bed full of plump healthy looking fruit
(even though it’s actually a vegetable! 😉).
Rhubarb has become synonymous with the flavour of late spring/early summer. It can often be found in an airy sponge cake in Estonia and since it’s one of the few early garden crops of the season everyone is always eagerly looking forward to that first bite of tart yet sweet delight. You bet that every grandma in this part of the world has their own recipe for a rhubarb cake. The ingredients are all the same most of the time and yet each tastes unique.
We, however, are not huge fans of cake and prefer to have rhubarb in a crumble dessert instead. It’s a treat we hold dear from our time in England, but these days we don’t make it nearly often enough.
On this occasion we deconstructed the classical everything-baked-in-one-dish version and would highly recommend for you to try it, too! 😋
Makes enough for four to six dessert lovers.
450 g rhubarb
50 g unsalted butter
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp rose water
100 g wholemeal rye flakes
50 g crushed hazelnuts
2 tbsp brown cane sugar
½ tsp gingerbread spice mix
a pinch of salt
70 g cold butter
vanilla ice cream for serving
Cut the rhubarb stalks into 3-5 cm pieces (halve thicker stalks lengthwise beforehand if needed). Melt 50 grams of butter in a medium sized saucepan on a low heat. Add the rhubarb and honey to the pan and stir until the latter has melted. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the stove, mix three tablespoons of rose water into the stewed rhubarb and leave it to cool.
While the rhubarb is cooking measure the rye flakes, crushed hazelnuts, sugar, gingerbread spice mix and a pinch of salt into a bowl and mix. Add 70 grams of diced cold butter to the dry ingredients and with your fingertips rub it into the flakes until you get an even crumb texture.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with greaseproof parchment paper. Spread the crumb out into an even layer on the tray and place it on the top shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes. Toss the mixture with a spatula a couple of times during baking. Once done let the crumb cool down for a bit also. Divide the stewed rhubarb and crumb into bowls with a scoop of vanilla ice cream of your choice (and top with edible dried rose petals if you happen to have those on hand).