I get giddy pretty often. I can't help it. It's my self defense mechanism against discontent, routine, hardship. My heart does a happy dance reading a friend's book feeling so proud of her as I realize the depths of her talent. My toes start moving in my shoes while listening to a perfect piece of music. I get giddy pulling out a perfectly moist and tender gluten free banana bread out of the oven. The little things deserve inner celebrating. I get giddy.
This week it was finding rhubarb for the first time this year. Yes, I know. I am easy. Making Rhubarb and Red Berry Crumbles was even easier.
It's a bit early still to have outdoor cultivated rhubarb over here (April/May) and I knew by the intense red color that this one was hothouse rhubarb (grown in heated greenhouses). I also knew it would be sweeter than its outdoor sister which was perfect on so many levels mixed in with berries in a crumble. B. wondered if he would have to drown his crumble under a mound of vanilla ice cream to offset all that tartness. Nope.
As I was mixing the crumble topping, I started going over my reasonning with him and that's when my husband looked at me as if I were the biggest baking geek out there. This type of rhubarb would be tart enough to make you notice it but would round the tartness of the raspberries while boosting up the flavor of the blueberries. Add a gluten free crumble topping with a pinch of cardamom and you have the perfect dessert to brighten any day.
Come to think of it we are big geeks. We start on a topic and bounce off ideas, questions and solutions all the time. Can be his trombone playing, my baking, writing, photography, vintage car fixing, the moon, the stars and everything in between. Absolute fun but it drives my parents insane when they come visit as they are trying to keep up.
Speaking of which...I know I will be making these crumbles again very soon when my parents come to visit. They will be here in just three weeks! They arrive 2 days after my return from teaching baking and photography workshops in Los Angeles and Seattle. Talk about timing! No time to noodle around to get the house ready and the fridge full! It's been over a year since they have come to visit. Oh! I just can't wait!
My mom loves stewed fruits of any kind. That's the fate we usually reserve for over ripe fruits back home. Growing up it was my breakfast and dessert of choice: stewed fruits over her homemade yogurt and a sprinkle of muesli for crunch. I guess that's why I love crumbles so much. Similar in texture, contrasting soft fruits and crunchy topping. Yet a tad more decadent with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. One night I even got fancy and candied some rhubarb peel on top. Inner happy dance...
One more thing: my friend Valentina who is an insanely talented photographer is teaching young kids the art of photography but the school needs a little help either in the form of used cameras or donations to purchase cards. It would only take 150 of us giving $10 each to help them meet their goal. That's not much. I love the idea of teaching children such crafts and arts at an early age. They can learn so much more than just how to take a picture: architecture, technology, discipline, community, etc... Click here for more information on how to help.
Rhubarb and Red Berry Crumbles:
Notes: I start by preparing the crumble first so I can freeze it while I prepare the fruit and preheat the oven. This way, I can easily grate it over the ramekins or baking dish before baking and not get it too soft in between my fingers as I top the fruits with it. If you tolerate gluten, replace all the gf flours with 1.5 cups of all purpose or soft whole wheat flour.
For the topping:
3/4 cup (90gr) millet flour
3/4 cup (120gr) brown rice flour
1/2 cup (65gr) tapioca starch
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch of salt
1 stick (115gr) unsalted butter, cold, in small pieces
1/4 cup (80gr) honey
For the fruits:
3 cups (365gr) rhubarb, fresh or frozen
1 cup (125gr) raspberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup blueberries (150gr) fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons (16gr) cornstarch
juice and zest of half a lemon
2 tablespoons (40gr) honey
Prepare the crumble topping:
In a large bowl, stir together all the flours, cardamom and pinch of salt. Add the butter and honey and start mixing everything together with your fingertips. You want to form a few large clusters of dough. It will be easier to grate once cold. Freeze the mixture while you prepare the fruits.
Preheat the oven at 350F and position a rack in the middle.
Prepare the fruits:
If you are using fresh rhubarb, peel it first then cut it in small pieces (about one inch). Use frozen as it is.
In a large bowl, mix together the rhubarb and berries along with the cornstarch, lemon juice and zest and honey. Stir the whole mix delicately as not to break the raspberries too much. Divide the mixture into lightly buttered ramekins or one 13x9-inch baking pan.
Grate the cold crumble mixture right over the fruits with either a cheese grater or a microplane with large holes.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the fruits start to bubble and the topping is golden brown. Handle with care - bubbling juices are very sneaky!
If you desire to candy and twirl some rhubarb strips, it's pretty easy actually:
Start by heating on the stove on medium high, equal parts sugar and water until the sugar dissolves (simple syrup.
Preheat the oven at 200F.
With a vegetable peeler remove long strips from the rhubarb stem. Dip them in the simple syrup and lay them flat on a baking sheet lined with either parchment paper or a silicone mat and let dry in the oven for about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and quickly twirl the rhubarb strips around wooden spoons, skewers, etc..let cool completely.
Le P'tit Coin Francais:
Crumble Rhubarbe Et Fruits Rouges:
Pour 6 a 8 personnes
Notes: je prepare le crumble avant les fruits car je le mets au congelateur pour pouvoir le gratter a meme les ramekins avant la cuisson. Une gratte a fromage ou une "microplane" a grands trous suffisent. Si vous ne desirez pas utiliser de farines sans gluten, remplacer les par 190gr de farine normale.
Pour le crumble:
90gr farine de millet
120gr farine de riz brun
65gr farine de tapioca
une pincee de cardamome
pincee de sel
115gr beurre non sale, froid, coupe en petits morceaux
80gr de miel
Pour les fruits:
365gr rhubarbe, fraiche our surgelee
125gr framboises, fraiches ou surgelees
150gr myrtilles, fraiches ou surgelles
jus et zeste d'un demi citron
Prepare le crumble:
Dans un grand bol, melangez les farines, cardamome et le sel. Ajoutez le beurre en des et le miel et melanger le tout du bout des doigts. Formez de larges boules de pate et mettez les au congelateur pendant que vous preparez les fruits.
Prechauffer le four a 180C et positionnez une grille au milieu.
Pour les fruits:
Si vous utilisez de la rhubarbe fraiche, epluchez-la d'abord et coupez la ensuite en petits morceaux.
dans un grand bol, melangez la rhubarbe et les fruits rouges. Ajoutez la maizena, le zeste et jus de citron et le miel. Melangez doucement pour ne pas casser les framboises. Repartissez les fruits dans des ramequins legerement beurres ou dans un plat rectangular de taille moyenne.
Sortez le crumble du congelateur et grattez le au dessus des fruits pour bien les recouvrir. Cuire le tout 20 a 30 minutes ou jusq'a ce que le crumble soit d'une belle couleur doree.
Pour les accordeons de rhubarbe: faites un sirop simple en diluant la meme quantite d'eau et de sucre a feu moyen. Trempez dedans de longue bandes d'epluchures de rhubarbe et les mettres sur une plaque recouverte d'une feuille de papier sulfurise ou de silicone. Faire secher a feu tres doux pendant une heure. A la sortie du four, les tortilloner autour de cuillieres en bois ou autre les laissez refroidir completement.