Rhubarb, Strawberry & Raspberry Crumble

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I think a fruit crumble would have to be my favourite dessert of all time. A simple apple crumble was one of the first things I learnt how to make in my cooking classes at school and I have fond memories of recreating this dish as a young child, faithfully following the recipe in my Day to Day Cookery book (a standard textbook used in Australian schools in home economic classes). To this day, I am still instantly comforted by the sight and smell of a freshly baked apple crumble but it’s worth venturing out now and then to experiment with other fruits.

With rhubarb in season the last few months, my kitchen has seen countless jars of Rhubarb Compote, a few servings of Rhubarb Custard Tea Cake, as well as an assortment of other baked goodies (such as Nigella Lawson’s Rhubarb Muffins – delicious!). And with berries coming into season recently, I have been addicted to the classic combination of rhubarb and strawberries.

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Rhubarb Custard Tea Cake

An impressive rhubarb tea cake with a custard layer baked in the centre of the cake.

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My parents used to sell a cake in their bakery which was made of two brioche-like sponges, sandwiched together with a thick, bright yellow custard and sprinkled on top with flaked almonds. This vanilla-rich cake was called a Bee-Sting, a funny name for a cake which I didn’t think much about as a child, preferring to concentrate my efforts on how many slices I could eat before my mum would put the remaining slices out on the counter to sell. Thinking now about the name, I can only laugh out loud at what it might imply!

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Rhubarb Compote

Rhubarb compote, or rhubarb purée, is perfect for serving at breakfast with a dollop of yoghurt, or baked in a crumble for a delicious dessert.

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I always look forward to seeing the vivid pink of the forced rhubarb at this time of the year, its season generally lasting from January to March in the northern hemisphere. After this time, the more common rhubarb can be found in abundance with its ruby red stems and green tops.

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