Rhubarb Crumble with Ginger (and possibly Greengages) as well as Real Custard

Rhubarb & Ginger Crumble

Rhubarb! Yay! Let’s make a crumble. I also very recently learned that rhubarb is used in traditional Chinese medicine, so it feels like the ginger pairing is rather fortuitous now. But lets face it, I had ginger wine in the house and that stuff is like alcoholic nectar of which I only put the fresh ginger in to enhance the booze! So…I’m not sure how overall healthy or medicinal the following dish is, but it is very satisfying to eat, and I even had some for breakfast the following day with cold custard. Not. Even. Guilty.

It’s at this point that I should also mention that I *think* I added some greengage plums to this dish, which was a totally amazing addition as the fruit really held shape and added a lovely bite to the overall dish. But I cannot of yet totally confirm this so I’ll have to come back to this post and edit it later if I ever find out whatever the hell plum-like things I actually did add to this.

Rhubarb filling for crumble:
400 g rhubarb - prepped weight
100 g greengage plums (possibly) - stoned and quartered
3 tbsp ginger wine - generous servings
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger with it's juices
100 g soft light brown sugar

Chop your rhubarb into long 10 cm by 1 cm sticks. Get all the above into a pot and simmer it all at low heat for around 15 minutes. You don’t want your rhubarb too soft. Once that’s done, you’ll probably have a bit too much thin liquid for a nice compote sauce, so sieve the fruit out and rest it in your oven proof dish while you crank the heat up in the pot and boil those fruit and sugar juices into a lovely thicker consistency. Pour this over your fruit and get your oven to 200°C. Move onto the crumble topping.

Crumble topping:
140 g self raising flour
85 g butter - chilled, cut in cubes
50 g soft light brown sugar
50 g walnuts - roughly chopped

With all of these ingredients in a glass bowl, you’ll want to dive in with your fingers and bring it together like course breadcrumbs. Don’t over mix and be too neat and tidy, the rougher the better. In fact. Go with *just* combined with larger odder shapes scattered through. The chopped walnut bits will help with this. Sprinkle this over your fruit mixture and whack it in the oven until the toppings golden brown and the fruit mix is bubbling to the surface a bit. 15-20 minutes maybe?

While that’s going on, lets make some actual proper custard too. This is Mary Berry’s recipe, and honestly, why would I want to change it? It’s pretty perfect. The only thing I did at the end was crank up the heat slightly and whisked it in a glass bowl before serving because I thought it was starting to split. Balloon whisks – kitchen lifesavers.

Mary Berry's "Real Proper Custard":
568 ml whole milk
55 ml single cream
1 vanilla pod - split lengthways
4 egg yolks
40 caster sugar
3 tsp cornflour - level measurements

Get a small pot on the stove and heat you milk, cream and vanilla pod at low heat. You don’t want it to boil.

In a separate bowl, mix up your egg yolks, sugar and cornflour until well blended.

Remove the vanilla pod (then wash and leave it to dry, put it in some sugar: vanilla sugar! Yay for Mary), and slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture – whisking all the time. Once it’s all incorporated, pour your custard back into your pot and slowly stir with a wooden spoon until you reach your desired consistency. Pour it all in a jug ready to serve and sit it in a pot of hot water to keep warm. Maybe put some cling film on top to stop a skin forming. Serve it up with your desert (or breakfast for that matter).

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