Rhubarb has been used for centuries as a sort of health tonic. The benefits touted include everything from aiding digestion to preventing Altzheimers! (I'll take two please!) We have a couple of venerable old plants that yield an abundance of the crisp, tart stalks. The texture is a lot like celery but when eaten raw, boy oh boy it makes you PUCKER! That's why it is generally combined with sugar and other ingredients to make delectable jam, tarts, cobblers, breads, pies and more!
We always make strawberry rhubarb jam for Christmas gifts. I freeze as much as I can every summer so we have a good supply on hand. This summer I found a wonderful bread recipe using plain yogurt and brown sugar. I'll tell you how easy it is to freeze and I'll share both recipes later but today lets make a crumble! By the way, frozen, unsweetened rhubarb is available in grocery stores, too! (You may have to look around old neighborhoods to find one that carries it but always ask!)
Isn't it beautiful? Rhubarb starts poking through the soil the minute winter lets go and keeps producing new stalks clear til frost as long as it's harvested and used! This what it looks like growing.
Always cut off and discard the elephant ear size leaves. They contain poisons like oxalic acid and can make you sick! Simply wash the stalks under cold running water and you're ready to chop them and make them into this yummy dessert! I've experimented and made this several times to get just the right crumbly topping. I finally found a recipe from England that called for castor sugar!?! I learned that's what they call powdered sugar across the pond and it seems to add just the right amount of crisp, light sweetness. In another recipe, cardamom was used and we happen to love it but you decide! Some recipes call for cinnamon, some have nutmeg, and some no spice at all so let your imagination run wild!
put rhubarb in greased pie plate or 9" x 9" pan. Mix flour, 1 cup sugar, salt, and cardamom. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit over the fruit.
In food processor, combine 3/4 c. flour with brown sugar, powdered sugar, and butter. Pulse til crumbly. Last, add oatmeal and pulse only a time or two so oats are mixed in but don't get chopped too fine.
Sprinkle crumble topping over fruit patting down very lightly.
Bake 40-45 minutes in 350 degree oven. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream or ice cream if desired. Enjoy!
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