Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What Inspires You Wednesday: Making The Most of Seasonal Crops


Our rhubarb crop isn't actually ours. It's our neighbors. They don't eat it. Which works for us, because we love it.

Before we talk about taste, let's talk about color. It is magnificent. The bright red stalks. The big green leaves. It is one gorgeous plant.

Then there is that wonderful tartness, when combined with sweet is enough to make you salivate.

I usually make rhubarb bread, I've tried rhubarb cake and have also made jam.  I thought it was time to add to my rhubarb repertoire.  So I made a crumble. Oh yeah. A crumble. Or a crunch. Whatever you want to call it.

I baked one for Dad for Father's Day and one of G (aka Mr. Sweet Tooth) and me.

We all thought it came out delicious.

I started with this basic recipe from The Farm Chicks and did a little tweaking because I was missing some of the ingredients. In the end, this is how the recipe turned out.

  • 4 cups rhubarb (chopped)
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Rinse and chop rhubarb and set aside.

In big bowl mix flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon, butter and yogurt. Press one-half of crumb mixture into a buttered 7"x11" or 8.5"x11" baking dish. (as you can see, I used a loaf pan because I couldn't find my baking dish! It worked just fine.)  Top with rhubarb. Set aside and make sauce.

Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and cold water. Heat on stove until lightly bubbly and thickened. I did it in microwave according to directions but I think stove top would work better.  When creamy looking and a bit thicker, take off stove and rest for a minute to allow to thicken a little more.

Pour mixture over the rhubarb. Top with the rest of the crumb mixture.  Put in preheated 350F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until liquid is bubbling a bit. Take out and rest. Serve plain or with whipped cream or ice cream.

Easy enough, right?

There is nothing like taking advantage of the crops of the season. Fresh, full of flavor. See what I mean?

It makes so much more sense than fighting nature, like trying to find a non-anemic looking tomato in the winter. In-season fruits and veg are as good as it gets. There is still more rhubarb to pick, but I've got to be quick in the next couple of days before it goes to seed. I'm thinking I can even chop, blanch and freeze it.  One way to have seasonal fruits and veg when it's not quite their season.

It's starting to feel like summer here. I've got the AC on for the dog because it's quite humid and he's an old boy of 14.  There is a nice breeze today and I think that will be the saving grace, especially since I'm still getting the pool ready. I so wish it was done.

Today is full with bookwork, design revisions and ad deadlines and more revisions. Kind of like yesterday. What's on your plate today?

Ciao for now,


  1. I love rhubarb and yes, the colour is something special:) I'm going to try your recipe this weekend. Yum, can't wait. xoxo

    1. I just love the tartness. Too much for some, but with a little sugar, just right for me. Enjoy!

  2. Pamela this looks amazing. I have never cooked with rhubarb, but I really should. Your recipe looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It was pretty darn good! give it a try. like I always say to any kids at july 4th lobster bake, 'go on, try it. if you don't like it, you can spit it out. but at least you've tried something new'.

  3. Supposed to be doing my website, a guest blogpost over on EtsyMetal, a quote for a piece of custom work....oh dear, the day isn't long enough!

    1. holy macaroni girl. that's a full plate! never long enough! how the hell are YOU?

  4. I can not think of many things that are better than crumble :-)


You comments make my day. Thanks for taking the time to visit Mercantile Muse and for commenting. I really appreciate it. ~Pam

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