Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble -- so simple and scrumptious -- is a mouthwatering, crust-topped dessert
By Bev Bennett
A crumble is the easy and delicious cousin to a pie.
Because the ingredients are so similar, it's possible that the sweet (which consists of fruit, topped with a crumbly pastry mixture and baked) came from a successful accident.
Imagine a cook, frustrated when she couldn't turn out a decent piecrust. Rather than give up completely, she mixed together the usual pastry ingredients, added a pinch of sugar and sprinkled the crumbs over a dish of fresh berries.
The resulting dessert, so simple and so mouthwatering, made her a heroine among pastry-challenged bakers.
A fantasy, perhaps, but try the dish and reach your own conclusion.
Start with berries, peaches, plums or a combination. But take a taste before you start baking. The fruit should be ripe and juicy so it creates a sauce as it bakes.
The crumble part is a mixture of solid fat, flour and sugar. Use butter, not vegetable shortening, for richer flavor. Add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice to the pastry if you like. And, if you want a bit of crisp with your crumble, add nuts.
Use the following recipe as a basic guide and vary the ingredients to your taste. A crumble is best eaten soon after baking, warm from the oven.
STRAWBERRY AND RHUBARB CRUMBLE
MAKES: 2 servings
Meanwhile combine remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon in a medium-size bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Spoon flour topping over fruit. Sprinkle on almonds. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until crumb topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling slightly.
Note: Taste strawberries before making crumble; if the fruit isn't very sweet, increase the sugar in first step to 1 1/2 tablespoons.
Each serving has: 336.5 calories; 15.5 grams total fat; 4 grams protein; 47 grams carbohydrates; 31 milligrams cholesterol; 140 milligrams sodium and 3 grams dietary fiber.
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