It's hard to believe, from looking at this, that there was 8 inches of snow on the ground a scant 3 weeks ago. Temperatures are still cool here, but the rhubarb is loving the weather. Fiona's peas, chard and spinach are all sprouting. Our tomatoes and peppers are growing lanky in a friend's greenhouse.
Today we picked the season's first rhubarb. I had stocked up on brown sugar and butter in anticipation of twice- or thrice-weekly rhubarb crumble for the next month or so. We have four of these vigorous plants, all growing in clayish soil that shouldn't be resulting in such vigour, but we're not complaining at all.
How long does it take for rhubarb crumble to bake? One violin practicing (i.e. 40 minutes). How perfect! Now we just have to wait for it to cool a little and a spring rite of passage will have been completed.
With the May long weekend a scant two days away, temperatures ought to be a lot warmer than they are. Today hovered around 10 degrees C (50 F) at our place until well into the afternoon. Pretty chilly for mid-May. But tomorrow promises to be up into the 20's, and Friday and Saturday should be in the high 20's (around 80 F). It's about time!
Super Quick Rhubarb Crumble
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. tapioca flour (or corn starch)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 cups chopped rhubarb
Place first 5 ingredients in a microwaveable bowl and heat gently until butter is softened. Mix together until well blended. Press a scant half of this mixture into the bottom of a 9x9" baking dish.
Mix water, granulated sugar and tapioca flour in a small saucepan. Heat and simmer until clear. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Dump chopped rhubarb over first oatmeal mixture in pan. Drizzle the sugar/water sauce over the rhubarb. Sprinkle on the remainder of the oatmeal mixture. Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes. Serve warm or cool. Warm with vanilla ice cream is especially yummy!