I have a bit of a rhubarb problem.
The problem is, when I see an enormous crown of it in someone’s back yard, or if I’m offered up an armful of it, I can’t resist – even though we’re trying to clear out the kitchen and whittle the contents of the fridge down into the little bar-sized one in the garage and the already-full chest freezer in the basement. And yet I keep cramming our newly excavated spaces with freezer bags full of chopped rhubarb. Because it’s there. And it’s free. And it just keeps on growing.
I could easily live on pie for these 8 weeks of summer, but daily pastry is not the best choice from a time and waistline perspective. And so often I resort to crumble – which is almost like pie, with all its best elements in easy-to-bake, scoopable form. And if you haven’t had cold crumble with a big spoonful of thick Greek yogurt on the back porch with coffee for breakfast in the morning, you haven’t fully experienced summer yet.
Because a warm crumble on the countertop leaves me prone to picking, sometimes I’ll divvy up the mixture between two smaller dishes (or cast iron skillets, as I tend to favour) and send one over to a neighbour. The problem with this scenario is no leftovers for breakfast.
I’ve also been known to blitz up a big batch of the crumble mixture to keep in a bag in the freezer (alongside the rhubarb) for dessert emergencies. All you need to do is toss your choice of fruit, chunked if it needs it, with sugar and cornstarch and upend the bag overtop for a nearly instant summer dessert. (Minus baking time, of course.)
It goes without saying that in July there should always be vanilla ice cream or whipping cream within easy access.