Rhubarb and Apple crumble on a rainy Sunday


The rain is a grey curtain and Sundays can be hard to overcome at the best of times. What better than to make a glorious Crumble to banish the demon of noontide.The human condition is so profoundly unfair and I have always sensed this on Sundays more than on any other day. There is so much quietness and stillness around. Nature seems to sense it too. Milo looks at me and is aware, but I doubt he is as aware of his mortality the same as we humans are. You, dear readers, can perhaps sense that a good Crumble is the only answer.

The rhubarb clump this years is monumental. One could almost climb the stalks with the help of a small ladder or by Helvi piggybacking on me. For a while Helvi and I spoke about making the annual rhubarb apple crumble. The Christmas period was too hectic. I need absolute stillness and total freedom including unquestioning obeisance of all kitchen utensils including wooden spoons, sugar bowl, oven, water, handtowels, closely followed by cinnamon sticks, shredded coconut, even 200 grams of butter and… secret ingredients. But of that later.

I also have to take time to rub hands together in glee in anticipated joyful beatings of overwhelming sadness and sardonically smiling curmudgeons. ( into submission) After due contemplation I cut the rhubarb stalks, five large ones and three green apples which I put in saucepan with cinnamon sticks and half a cup of sugar. With a little water I brought this to boil. I mixed self raising flour, sugar, shredded coconut and my secret ingredients; blue berries and couscous! This was then clumped with cold butter ready to be spread over the cooked rhubarb and apple. The couscous was an afterthought. I did not have the oats or other roughage to give the crumble, the well…, the crumble. The lot with the crumble spread over the fruit was cooked in the oven at 180c for about 25 minutes. The couscous in the crumble was a huge success and I now plan to patent this ingredient.

I have yet to read about couscous in a rhubarb Crumble. Have you? All in all, the Crumble was the best ever. The Sunday has a smile now as well, the rain in retreat.

32 Responses to “Rhubarb and Apple crumble on a rainy Sunday”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    Oh, that sounds so vey delicious. Sinfully so.

    How clever of you to use couscous. May I nominate you as the next Masterchef?


  2. Yvonne Says:

    Look what just tumbled into my email messages:

    On this date in 1770, Benjamin Franklin introduced rhubarb to America. He was representing the American colonies as an ambassador in London, and sent a crate of rhubarb to his friend John Bartram. The plant, native to central Asia, had been introduced in Europe by traders; the rhubarb that Franklin sent to America had come to London from Siberia. Rhubarb first appeared in American seed catalogs in 1829, and soon became a popular ingredient in pies. John Bartram was also responsible for introducing kohlrabi and poinsettias to America.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Red Hen Says:

    Ooohh, some great notes there about the spread of rhubarb and how to kill your spouse!;-) Me, I thoroughly dislike the stuff (rhubarb, I mean, not elimination of spouses.) Can’t understand the fascination for it.
    But I am partial to a good crumble. Never heard of a couscous topping, though it makes the whole deal sound a lot healthier. I put porridge oats on top of mine to salve my conscience.


  4. rod Says:

    Sundays only exist if you let them.


  5. Lottie Nevin Says:

    Ah Ha! You are a fellow ‘Sunday-itis’ sufferer I see. My symptoms don’t generally start until late-afternoon/early evening and then BHAM! away we go. The only cure as you so rightly point out, is life-affirming comfort food and maybe something nice to drink and possibly a good movie, though when Sunday-itis hits hard there’s really nothing like a good sob to fill that empty hole of nothing-ness, that cursed ‘fin de la semaine’ veil of doom…..

    And weirdly, very weirdly, before I even read your post, I too was thinking of making a crumble today – how’s that for ‘spooky action at a distance’ (Einstein) Best wishes from a fellow Sunday-itis sufferer.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      As a teen-age apprentice spectacle maker, I used to get the up- coming ‘workman’s’ weekly train ticket on a Sunday afternoon in my suburb of Revesby. Boy, those Sunday afternoon walks to the station was the epitome of desolation.

      The Venetian blinds were down, all shops locked up, a few newspaper pages blowing about, and if it wasn’t for a solitary station dog, scratching its fleas, one could easily imagine one had walked onto a scene of Neville Shute’s ‘On the beach.’ The suburban deadness palpitating.

      Afterwards one just wished to go to bed clutching the train ticket and hoping it would all pass.
      Monday morning, I leaped out of bed. What a relief. I survived another Sunday.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Silver in the Barn Says:

    Rhubarb lovers unite! In Minnesota when I was a child, some called it “pie plant.” One of my most cherished recipes is written in my Grandmother’s hand for a rhubarb bread. Oh, so very delicious! Brilliant idea with the couscous.


  7. la_lasciata Says:

    I believe this recipe needs to be tested by an independent observer: kindly post me a large (VERY !) slice …


  8. petspeopleandlife Says:

    My goodness. You are a bakery chef too. I love rhubarb but must buy the frozen kind because the fresh is terribly expensive. I have my mother’s recipe that requires strawberries and tapioca and sugar. It is the best dang dessert.

    Rhubarb will not grow where I live. The summers are too hot and the climate in general is not to its liking.



  9. Lily Lau Says:

    Rainy Sundays are especially made for the sake of bakery, aren’t they? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I thought the idea of using couscous to thicken was brilliant, and no doubt delicious.


  11. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    I’m hungry all over again just looking at it. I have been searching online for a link to Charles Trenet’s les infants s’ennuie le Dimanche for you, but can’t find a suitable one. I love my recording.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you, glad it made you hungry. The crumble is finished but there are new rhubarb stalks shooting up skywards with astonishing speed. I’ll make a new batch of crumble with couscous in about a week’s time.
      I listened to Charles Trenet’s singing, rather sweet and soothing.


  12. Master of Something Yet Says:

    Is that couscous straight from the packet or the solid lump in the saucepan after one has attempted to cook it?


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