This classic, old fashioned pudding is one of the easiest to make, and deliciously satisfying. This recipe is very plain and simple, with a topping that is very like shortbread. The filling is one you can play with; add some apples, add strawberries or even blueberries – they all make this a seriously good dessert.
400g rhubarb chopped into 3cm chunks
300g granny smith apples peeled and cut into 3cm chunks(optional)
1 vanilla pod or ½ teaspoon vanilla paste
75 g raw caster sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
100g cold unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
150g plain flour
50g raw caster sugar
pinch of sea salt.
1 tsp ground cinnamon or ginger (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a 20cm ovenproof dish with a little butter.
Combine the chopped rhubarb, apples and strawberries (if using); spoon into. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the seeds and toss with the rhubarb mixture, caster sugar and cornflour. Add this to the prepared dish. The rhubarb will shrink quite a lot in the cooking process, so don’t be frightened to pile it above the sides of your dish. Set aside.
To make the crumble, cube the butter, then toss with the flour. Cut into the flour with a knife until the butter is in small pieces, then use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and sea salt. Sprinkle over rhubarb mixture without pressing down. Place on a baking tray to catch any drips, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Serve with hot vanilla custard, icecream or cold cream.