Rhubarb and apple crumble

When making a crumble, Paul Merrett likes to make a big batch of the topping, so some can be held back and frozen for another time
By Paul Merrett
Rhubarb and apple crumble
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the fruit base

  • 2 Bramley apples, cored, peeled and cut in 1cm dice
  • 300 g caster sugar, or more depending on the fruits tartness
  • 8 sticks Yorkshire forced rhubarb, cut in 2cm lengths

For the crumble topping (makes enough for 3-4 crumbles)

  • 450 g flour
  • 250 g butter, cut in pieces
  • 125 g golden caster sugar
  • 125 g demerara sugar
  • 50 g oats

To serve

  • vanilla ice cream
  • extra thick double cream
  • Bird's custard powder

Tips and Suggestions

This is a batch recipe so should do enough to top 3-4 crumbles.

Check the sugar level in the fruit when it is cooked, you will need to taste and adjust depending on how tart the fruit is.

If you dont have a food processor, make the crumble topping by hand.


1. For the fruit base: put the rhubarb and half of the caster sugar in a saucepan over a low heat, then just as the fruit starts to simmer, pour it into a strainer to drain off the juice.

2. Put the diced apple into a deep bottomed frying pan, or saucepan, over a low heat. Stir in the remaining caster sugar, along with a spoonful of water if it looks like catching or sticking. Cook the apple for 2 minutes or until just cooked - it will still have a crisp centre. Tip out the apple mix into a bowl and allow to cool.

3. Mix the rhubarb fruit with the apple. You can drink the juice when cold with iced vodka. Preheat the oven to190C/fan 170C/gas 5.

4. For the crumble topping: put the flour, butter, both sugars and a big pinch of salt in a food processor then blend until like breadcrumbs. Mix the oats in with a spoon. Three quarters fill an ovenproof dish with your fruit mix. Lightly pour on lots of the crumble topping so that it finishes higher than the edge of the dish dont pack it down. You wont use all the topping, so the rest can be frozen for future use. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Serve with the ice cream, cream and custard.

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