What is Operation Jam Jar?

Operation Jam Jar is all about getting back to basics in the kitchen.

Check out my efforts at cooking from scratch - cakes, soups, biscuits

Learn how to make things that you would normally buy at the supermarket - wraps, ice cream, pizza bases

Try to live a more 'country' lifestyle in the city - making your own jams or relish

Get the skills to enjoy cooking in a thrifty way, and have a bit of fun while you do it

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rhubarb Crumble Slice

I need to start off with a confession.  This slice, delicious as it is, was a bit of a pain in the butt to make.  For starters you need FOUR mixing bowls.  Now I don’t know about you but I have a favourite bowl, a second favourite bowl, and that’s about it.  So when I have to wash up half way through a recipe (or in my case, when I have to wash up at all) it makes me pretty upset.  But onwards and upwards, don’t let a little thing like needing FOUR mixing bowls put you off.  For my second confession, I need to apologise for the dodgy photo.  I was far too excited about shoving the slice in my mouth than I was about photographing it.  Luckily there is not a photo of that.  

It’s not exactly rhubarb season here in Australia but for some reason the other day at the market it was selling super cheap, so I decided I should grab a couple of bunches.  It wasn’t until I got home that I realised I have never cooked with rhubarb before.  I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do with it.  And while I had tried my husband’s delicious apple and rhubarb crumble (coming to a blog near you when there is some cooler weather) I wanted to try something new. 

This slice has everything going for it – the smooshiness of the fruit, the sweetness of the cake, and the amazing crumbly goodness of the topping. I think there should be more crumble in everyone’s life.  Honestly it makes everything better. 


Bowl 1: the fruit
2 bunches of rhubarb, washed, trimmed and cut into 1cm pieces
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp ground ginger

Bowl 2: the crumble
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
Big pinch of salt
100g butter, melted
1 ¾ cups plain flour

Bowls 3 and 4: the cake 
1/3 cup sour cream
1 egg plus one extra egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
100g butter, cut into small pieces

Directions: makes about 16 pieces

Preheat your oven to 170°C and line a 20cm x 20cm baking tray with greaseproof paper.  Make sure it is a deep enough tray to hold the 3 layers. 

Bowl 1: place your sliced rhubarb, sugar, cornflour and ginger into the bowl and set to one side.

Bowl 2: in this, we make the crumble. Pour in your melted butter and whisk in the sugars, spices and salt until smooth.  Add your flour and mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a firm dough in the base of your bowl.  Set aside.

Bowl 3: almost cake time.   Using a small bowl for this step, place your sour cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla and stir to combine.

Bowl 4: here comes the cake.  In a larger bowl, mix together your flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add the butter and a spoonful of the sour cream mixture and bring together with electric beaters until moistened.  Turn up the speed and beat for a further 30 seconds.  Add half of the remaining sour cream mixture, beating well before adding the other half and beating again. 

Pour half of the cake batter into your prepared tin, and then sprinkle the rhubarb over the top.  Pour on the rest of your cake batter – it doesn’t matter if it’s not spread evenly.

Use your fingers to break the dough from bowl 2 into crumble.  You want the pieces to be quite chunky, so aim for them to be a bit bigger than a sultana.  Sprinkle these over the cake and bake for around 45 mins.  You will know that it’s ready when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean, though it may be a little moist from the fruit.  

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