Sunday, 9 February 2014

Are You Ready to Crumble?

Rabarbaro con una Crosta di Banana & Fiocchi d'Avena 
Breakfast Rhubarb Crumble with Banana Oatmeal Crunch

So, are you ready with your breakfast yet? No? Why not? You say you are not awake yet and not up to making complicated and fussy breakfasts? Ok- that's fine... you can make something like this instead! It's quick and easy and hits the spot, right on target on a cold and sunny Sunday morning!

The only thing you need to do, in order to get this thing whipped-up in next to no time on a Sunday morning... is to do a little prep work late on the Saturday night before. But seriously, I am talking about just 10 minutes time- you can manage to do that now, can't you? Well, I suppose it depends what kind of party you have been to before you get home... but otherwise... this is all you need to do...

Fortunately, I am in the position to tell you the exact amount of rhubarb you will need per person to make this dish... and that is 3 stalks. I know that, because that was all I had- haha, and it came to just the perfect amount this morning- such luck!

Ok- the first thing you need to do is to turn on your oven at its highest setting to get it really hot before we even begin. And to pop a baking dish into the oven. And then to begin ;-)

The most important thing to do is to try to peel the rhubarb carefully, taking away just enough of that beautiful pink skin (sigh!) to make it enjoyable to eat, without completely cutting away all of the color. The way to do it, is to cut the rhubarb into more manageable lengths and then, using a small, sharp knife, to gently pinch the skin at the end and peel it back... you can do it- I did!

Next, cut the rhubarb into small pieces, again, using a very sharp knife, so as to avoid pulling too many of those stringy sinews out of the rhubarb. Keeping the pieces small makes sure that doesn't happen. They are "the nature of the beast" of course, as rhubarb consists basically of said sinews, so the thing to do is to minimize them and to make sure NOT to stir the rhubarb around too much so that they all come apart. Yes, you know exactly the kind of mess that I am hinting at... the kind in all of those nasty rhubarb concoctions that put so many people off eating it in the first place...

Sprinkle the rhubarb with sugar and cinnamon to taste, add a teaspoon of jam and a tablespoon of water and stir together gently. I happened to have cranberry jam in the fridge, but any red jam will do- it just helps maintain a nice pink color. 

Put the rhubarb into the hot baking dish, add a drizzle of honey, stir it through once, put it back in, turn off the oven and go to sleep. That's right! Just go to bed and forget about it until the morning. The residual heat in the oven will cook the rhubarb perfectly and when you wake up in the morning, it will look like this, with each piece intact and the syrup it has given off nicely sweetened by the honey and sugar. There... that WAS easy, wasn't it?

The next step is to prepare a little crumble. I made this by mashing a small banana, adding 2 tablespoons of yoghurt and 4 tablespoons of oatmeal, a good sprinkle of cinnamon, and enough honey to make it sweet enough for you. I am notorious for having a sweet tooth... but not really- so in my case, that meant just 1 tablespoon. I will leave the sweetness of your crumble up to you!

Once it is stirred together and has a nice, thick consistency like the one you see in the image below, first empty your rhubarb into an individual sized serving dish and then spoon the crumble on top... unless you are making a larger, family-sized portion. Add a few extra blobs of jam here and there, then pop it into a hot oven, around 300°F, for 15-20 minutes... whilst you brew your coffee and come alive...

After 15-30 minutes, the rhubarb will have given off lots of juices, which will have bubbled up all around the edges of the dish and of course, into the oatmeal, making it juicy and delicious underneath, whilst the top has become crispy and golden... and that's a pretty nice combination for so little effort on a Sunday morning, I'd say!

Honestly, boiling up some oatmeal takes just as long- so every now and again, you could consider doing something like this as a little treat- couldn't you? If I can go ahead and do it- then anyone can! Enjoy!

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