My apple rhubarb ginger crumble brings a balance of sweet tart flavor enhanced by a kick of ginger and a crunchy topping.
When it comes to baking, I love simple and comforting desserts like a classic crumble. Crumble is a quintessential British dessert that I first discovered through Nigel Slater’s Ripe cookbook over a decade ago. I have seasonal favorites and my spring version always has rhubarb coupled with another fruit. While rhubarb and strawberry make the perfect spring pairing, I love the taste and texture of rhubarb and apple together. My apple rhubarb ginger crumble brings a balance of sweet tart flavor enhanced by a kick of ginger and a crunchy topping.
- Apples: for the apples, use ones that hold up well during baking like Granny Smith, Jonagold, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Pink Pearl, and Hidden Rose. Gauge how much sugar to use based on the apple’s sweetness. Add in another 1/4 cup of sugar in the filling if your apples lean on the tarter side.
- Rhubarb: to get the best tasting rhubarb, look for stalks that are dark red and thinner. They tend to be sweeter and more tender compared to the thicker stalks that are more fibrous.
- Ginger: for this recipe I used fresh ginger. Fresh ginger is less fibrous and more tender and flavorful compared to candied ginger or ground ginger. Peel off the outer skin with a paring knife and use a ginger grater or knife to chop the ginger into small pieces. I only used 1/2 a tablespoon of ginger but feel free to double the amount if you love ginger.
How to Make the Crumble Topping
You can make the crumble topping as simple as flour and sugar thickened with butter. I like to add oats, nuts, coconut flakes, and demerara sugar for a tastier crumble topping. I used cinnamon to add flavor to the crumble but feel free to play with cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, or all spices. Using cold butter and working it into the flour before mixing it with the other ingredients makes for a pastry-like topping reminiscent of pie crust. You can also use a food processor instead of working the ingredients together with your hands. Chill the crumble mixture before use to help it clump properly during baking.
How Long to Bake the Crumble
Crumble requires more baking time than you think. The fruit must cook to tenderness in the time it takes the crumble to become golden. I slice my apples with a mandolin and cut the rhubarb into small pieces so they take the same amount of time to cook. When your fruit is unripe, cook the filling for about 5-7 minutes on the stove before baking it. I bake my apple rhubarb ginger crumble in the oven at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes until the filling bubbles and the top becomes golden brown.
What to serve crumble with
A warm and bubbling crumble freshly baked from the oven is perfect with vanilla ice cream, thickened cream, or vanilla custard. My favorite way to enjoy crumble is with a few scoops of vanilla ice cream. There’s no extra work involved!
Simple and hearty, this apple rhubarb ginger crumble is a spring favorite. The tartness of apple and rhubarb and spicy kick from the ginger pair perfectly with the sweet and crunchy crumble topping. Add a few scoops of vanilla ice cream to the warm crumble and you have an instant crowd pleaser.
Apple rhubarb ginger crumble
- 1 lb apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1/2 lb rhubarb, cut into one 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
- 2 tbsps cornstarch
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup demerara sugar or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup demerara sugar
- 6 tbsps unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- To make the topping, whisk together the flours, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Cut the butter into a few large pieces and toss these in the bowl with dry ingredients. Use your fingertips and rub together the flour mixture, butter, oats, and coconut flakes in a large bowl until the mixture resembles very coarse breadcrumbs with a few larger lumps. . Leave the mixture in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes while you're preparing the filling.
- Cut the rhubarb into 1 inch lengths and put in a large bowl.
- Peel, core, and use a mandolin or sharp knife to slice the apples into 1/8 inch thick then add them to the rhubarb.
- Add sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch to the mixture and toss gently to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a shallow 2-qt. baking dish.
- Transfer the fruit to a large baking dish. Scatter the crumble topping evenly over the fruit. Don't pack it down.
- Put the baking dish on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the crumble is golden on top and the fruit is soft and bubbling underneath.
- Let the crumble cool for 10 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream.