Now we begin the time of year when the days shorten and the warmth of the air vanishes with the setting sun. Such times call for certain dishes that are close to impossible to enjoy during the rest of the year.
In our sunny locale, summer is a season for cooking outdoors and eating things cold, straight from the fridge. Cooking anything in the oven is an unpleasant experience. It heats up the house beyond liveable conditions, which then requires evasive action from the air conditioner to drag the room temperature back down in some sort of sweaty dance of degrees Celsius. Don’t even get me started on the fly swarm waiting at the back door if I make the mistake of roasting a joint of meat.
Anyone cooking a traditional Christmas lunch in an Australian summer can attest to this battle of climatic wills. In our family this has resulted in roasting meats in the BBQ on the patio and staying within arm’s reach of an esky, beer and ice.
Once the weather starts to shift toward cooler cycles, the sheer bliss of re-claiming the oven as a useful kitchen appliance, instead of a torture device from the fires of the mythical Hell, is almost immeasurable. To celebrate this transition, I’ve resurrected a favourite dessert to enjoy in the cozy confines of a blanket on the couch.
I hope it works for you as well as it does for me!
Apple and Rhubarb Crumble
1 bunch of rhubarb, ends trimmed then sliced into chunks
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/3 cup water
1 – 2 tblsp sugar or rice malt syrup
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or preferred alternative)
80g butter, chilled and chopped
**Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C**
To make fruit filling:
1. Place all the prepared ingredients into a large pot.
2. Cover and simmer gently over medium heat until the rhubarb has softened and the apples are tender.
3. Remove the cinnamon stick and scoop filling into a baking dish
To make crumble:
1. Place flour and sugar in a bowl and combine
2. Add cubes of chilled butter and rub between your fingers until the mix resembles fine bread crumbs
3. Pour the crumble mix over the fruit filling
4. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake until the crumble is golden brown
Serve with cream or ice cream
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