I’m very excited to tell you that my new book, Revolutionary French Cooking, launched on Thursday 1st May. This is just one of my recipes that’s great to try now. I hope you enjoy!
This is a very different type of crumble from the one your grandmother used to make, as the rhubarb is gently poached in a lemon-grass-infused syrup and then elegantly layered in a glass with a lemon and lime cream and topped with a crispy pistachio crumble. It makes a deliciously elegant and modern twist on an old favourite.
Preparation time – 20 minutes, plus at least 3 hours chilling
Cooking time – 50 minutes
400g/140z rhubarb, peeled, peelings reserved, cut in 2.5cm/1 in long pieces
100g/3 ½ /scant ½ cup caster sugar
1 lemongrass stalk, split and bruised
For the lemon and lime cream
185ml/6floz/¾ cup double cream
2 tbsp. caster sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
Finely grated zest of ½ lime
For the pistachio crumble
100g/ 3 ½ oz/heaped ¾ cup icing sugar
100g/ 3 ½ oz/heaped ¾ cup plain flour
A pinch of salt
75g/ 2 ½oz /¾cup ground almonds
40g/1 ½ oz/scant ⅓ cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
100g/3 ½ oz unsalted butter, softened
1 To make the lemon and lime cream, put the cream and sugar in a small saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Put the lemon juice and both zests in a small jug and as soon as the cream comes to the boil, pour it into the jug and mix quickly to combine. Pour the hot cream mixture into four sundae glasses, leave to cool, then chill in the fridge for at least three hours.
2 Put the rhubarb, rhubarb peelings, sugar and lemongrass in a sauté pan and just cover with water. Heat over a low heat until simmering, then cook for 15-20 minutes until the rhubarb is just tender but keeps its shape. Strain through a fine sieve into the cleaned pan, then return the syrup to the heat and cook until it has reduced by half and is thick and syrupy. Meanwhile, discard the rhubarb peelings and the lemongrass and put the rhubarb in a shallow non-metallic dish. Pour the reduced syrup over the top of the rhubarb and leave to cool while you make the crumble.
3 Preheat the oven to 160 °C/315 °F/gas 2 ½. Put all the crumble ingredients into a large mixing bowl and rub gently with your fingertips to make a coarse crumb mixture. Tip into a baking tray in an even layer and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Turn the crumble mixture, bringing the edges into the centre and spreading it out into an even layer again every 6-8 minutes to make sure it cooks evenly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely until crunchy.
4 Take the cream-filled glasses out of the fridge and top with the rhubarb. Drizzle with the syrup and finish with the crumble, gently sprinkling it over the top. Serve immediately while the crumble is still crunchy.
To view this recipe and other from my new book, Revolutionary French Cooking, buy your own copy from Amazon