Monday, May 3, 2010

A British Pudding

According to the May 2010 edition of bon appetit magazine "[i]n England, classic desserts-tarts, possets, crumbles, and the like-are simply known as puddings." One of Mike's favorite desserts is a strawberry rhubarb pie. His mom, Betty, used to make these pies for his birthday - I have on occasion. Since his birthday falls on June 1 the timing couldn't be better. The markets are flush with these beautiful red fruits.

Last night we had our Indianapolis/Rhode Island friends The McKenzie's over for dinner.  My goal for every dinner party is to design a menu that minimizes my time in the kitchen. I chose a strawberry and rhubarb crumble for dessert that was created by Tamasin Day-Lewis.  (Ms. Lewis is a writer of British cookbooks and a TV personality.) Everything can be done before your guests arrive with the exception of coating the strawberries and rhubarb, putting on the topping and popping it in the oven.

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup husked hazelnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled, halved (about 4 cups)
  • 12 ounces rhubarb (preferably bright red), ends trimmed, stalks cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
  • Vanilla ice-cream
Combine flour, 2/3 cup sugar, and salt in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Add butter. rub in with fingertips until mixture sticks together in clumps. Mix in oats and nuts. Do Ahead: Topping can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. Place 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean whisk to blend well. Add strawberries and rhubarb to sugar in bowl; toss to coat well. Scrape fruit filling into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle oat topping evenly over filling.

Bake crumble until filling bubbles thickly and topping is crisp, about 45 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes. Spoon warm crumble into bowls. Serve with ice cream.

I have to tell you this crumble is delicious. The addition of the hazelnuts makes the topping crisp and flavorful.  Don't skip the ice cream. I have three words for you - yummy, yummy, yummy!

Life is good, enjoy!

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