Rhubarb, raspberry and custard crump (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

Rhubarb_raspberry_and_custard_crump_pudding
Rhubarb, raspberry and custard crump. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

For me, one of the signs that Spring is on its way is the first harvest of my forced rhubarb. I love the rich colour of the stalks, their tenderness when cooked and the mild astringent, tartness of flavour that really packs a punch on the palate. Sadly, my rhubarb is not ready for picking just yet as you can see below, but I couldn’t resist the fresh stalks I saw in the local farm shop this week.

Homegrown_forced_rhubarb_in_Scotland_in_February
My homegrown forced rhubarb in late February. Image: Kathryn Hawkins
Stalks_fresh_forced_rhubarb
Spring rhubarb. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

One of my favourite pairings with rhubarb is raspberry. Whilst it seems like a long time ago I had raspberries ripening in the garden, I have a few packs in the freezer, and this recipe is the perfect opportunity to delve into my supplies.

I love the name of this dish. I assume it comes from the hybridisation of the pudding called “slump” and the one called “crumble”. The recipe works fine with any cooked fruit baked underneath the glorious, melt-in-the-mouth topping. The custard is a recent addition to my recipe and brings an extra spoonful of comfort at this time of the year.

Homegrown_raspberries_on_the_branch_and_frozen
Last years homegrown raspberries. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

Serves: 6

  • 350g fresh rhubarb, trimmed
  • 50g vanilla sugar (or you can use plain caster if you prefer)
  • 175g frozen raspberries
  • 115g dairy free margarine (or butter if you eat it), very soft
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 175g gluten-free plain flour blend (I use Doves Farm)
  • 5ml good quality vanilla extract
  • 500ml gluten-free, dairy-free custard
  1. Trim the rhubarb and cut into 5cm lengths. If you have thin and wider stalks, cut the stalks down so that they are all roughly the same width – this helps the rhubarb cook more evenly.
  2. Arrange neatly in a large, lidded shallow pan. Spoon over 2 tbsp water and sprinkle with the vanilla sugar. Heat until steaming, then cover with the lid and simmer gently for 5-6 minutes until just tender but still holding shape.
  3. Remove from the heat, sprinkle the frozen raspberries on top and leave to cool completely. Transfer to an ovenproof baking dish, about 1.2l capacity. If the fruit is very juicy, drain off a few spoonfuls and keep as a separate serving syrup.

    Cooked_rhubarb_and_raspberries
    Rhubarb and raspberries, a winning combination. Images: Kathryn Hawkins
  4. For the topping, put the margarine (or butter) in a bowl and beat in the caster sugar until smooth and creamy. Mix in the flour and vanilla to make a lumpy, sticky mixture, resembling a soft cookie dough. Cover and chill for 30 minutes until firm.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven, gas mark 6). Spoon over about half of the custard in small dollops. Break up the chilled topping into clumps and scatter over the top, covering the fruit and custard as much as possible. Stand the dish on a baking tray and bake for about 35 minutes until lightly golden, bubbling and the topping has merged together. Serve hot or warm with the remaining custard and the fruit syrup.
    Final_steps_of_crump_preparation_and_baked
    With custard; with topping, and the freshly baked crump. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

    Portion_of_freshly_baked_rhubarb_raspberry_and_custard_crump
    A spoonful of comfort: hot crump pudding. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

9 thoughts on “Rhubarb, raspberry and custard crump (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

  1. My parents’ rhubarb isn’t quite as red as yours. Is that because yours was “forced” or is it a matter of difference in soil?
    I will have to try your crump, I love topping cooked fruit with something crunchy. I can picture myself eating this with homemade ice-cream, which is really nothing more than frozen custard, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can buy special rhubarb forcers which are tall terracotta pots. They are quite expensive, but I use the large glazed pot in the picture. The pot goes over the rhubarb just as it starts to sprout and will then grow quickly towards the light. Worth a try, it’s so attractive and easy to do.

      Liked by 1 person

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