I love a good crumble (or crisp, if you like)- warm fruit, gooey yet still identifiable, a perfectly sweet topping with a nice bit of crunch, some ice cream or whipped cream to serve as a temperature foil.
This past weekend at our local farmers market, I went hog-wild while buying rhubarb. Pounds and pounds came home with me, and despite a serious amount of jam-making, I found what seemed like an undiminished pile in my fridge last night. I remembered reading about a rhubarb-hibiscus compote Kim Boyce makes and thought a crumble working off of that foundation would be marvelous. Bing cherries and almonds sounded great as additions too, and they were! —em-i-lis
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Em-i-lis is a mom, cook, and writer living in Washington, DC.
WHAT: A sweet-tart, nutty crumble -- with hibiscus for je ne sais quoi.
HOW: Toss your fruit and hibiscus with some sugar, let it roast, then top with your whole wheat flour-oat-almond topping and bake until runny and toasty.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This is the perfect dessert to bake in the fleeting moments that rhubarb and cherries' seasons overlap; rhubarb's tartness tames the cherries' sweetness, and the hibiscus keeps you digging your spoon in until the whole thing is magically gone. —The Editors
1, 8x8-inch square crumble
For the fruit filling:
chopped rhubarb (~3/4? cubes), divided
Bing cherries, pitted and halved
packed brown sugar
hibiscus tea leaves (I use The Republic of Tea Natural Hibiscus loose leaf herbal; you can also use 8 hibiscus flowers, as does Kim Boyce)
For the topping:
whole wheat flour
rolled oats (not quick- or instant)
brown sugar, packed
butter, set out on the counter when you start making this dessert- you want it to be cool but pliable
Preheat the oven to 400, and get out an 8? square glass baking dish.
In a medium, non-reactive, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium-low heat, put 4 cups of the chopped rhubarb, the cherries, 1 packed cup of brown sugar and the hibiscus. Stir to combine everything, cover, and cook until the rhubarb releases its liquid and starts to break down, about 10-12 minutes.
Uncover the pot, add the remaining 2 c of chopped rhubarb, stir to combine, and remove from heat. Set aside.
For the topping:
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the whole wheat and all-purpose flours, the oats,brown sugar, almonds, cinnamon and salt.
With your fingers or a pastry cutter, blend in the butter until you have a crumbly mixture in which the butter is as uniformly distributed as possible.
Pour the fruit filling into your baking dish and then pour the crumble topping evenly over the top. Place the dish into the oven and bake for 22 minutes. (I turned the heat up to 425 after 20 minutes to give it an extra boost of heat at the end). Some of the crumble topping will sink into the fruit compote. Yum!
Serve with vanilla ice cream or with a lightly sweetened whipped cream with a little almond extract blended in (I used about 1/4 tsp of almond extract in mine).