Mentally, I’m totally over winter and with it, roast dinners, steaming mugs of hot chocolate and comforting puds. Or so I thought. I snuck off for a totally indulgent weekend in Shropshire at Redfarm Farm Barns, eating and learning how to photograph food, taught by the food photography genius, Danielle Acken, and styled by my new food heroine, Tami Hardeman, whose beautiful food blog, Running With Tweezers, is a mouthwatering visual feast. We were a really mixed group of experienced professionals (not me) and keen amateurs (me) and we all managed to produce truly magazine-worthy images with expert help from Danielle and Tami. If you’re an aspiring food blogger, this course is for you.
But back to the food. One of my assignments was to cook and eat photograph a Rhubarb & Strawberry Crumble. I know, right? Genius! Now we can eat crumbles for at least another 2 months.
The recipe, courtesy of the lovely Danielle, had a couple of new tricks I hadn’t seen before (and I like to think I know my way round a crumble recipe). A couple of tablespoons of flour go into the fruit mix to thicken it naturally and the crumble topping is melt and mix – so quick and easy that I’m totally converted. We went a bit freestyle with our crumble topping, adding extra wholemeal flour and rolled oats for crunch and flavour. The result was seriously tangy crumble perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the strawberries. My partner in crime, was Jude, the owner and hostess of Redfarm Barns, who is also a talented stylist and photographer. We had a ball together making pretty pictures and a wonderful humble crumble. I’m not sure I can ever go back to apple now. Enjoy! Not a crumb was left….
STRAWBERRY & RHUBARB CRUMBLE
FOR THE CRUMBLE
• 12 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
• 1 cup chopped almonds (optional)
• 1 cup packed golden brown sugar
• 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 cup whole oats
• 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (feel free to swap with wholemeal and chuck in some oats)
FOR THE FILLING
• 3 cups rhubarb cut in 1/4” slices
• 3 cups quarter strawberries
• 1 1/2 cup sugar
• 3 tbsp. all purpose flour
• 2 tsp grated lemon peel
• whipped cream !
For the crumble, cook butter in a pan over medium heat until golden, stirring often – about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in almonds, sugar and cinnamon. Add flour and stir until moistclumps form. (Tip: if it seems a bit moist, just add a little more flour until it forms more of a crumb consistency. We had to). Cool completely. Preheat oven to 350 F.
For filling, toss rhubarb and strawberries with sugar, flour and lemon zest in bowl to blend. Let stand until the filling looks
moist, stir a couple of times. Pour the rhubarb filling into a gratin dish. Sprinkle the crumble on top. Bake 45 – 60 mins or until filling is bubbling and crumble is crisp and golden. Cool 10 – 15 minutes before serving. Serve with whipped cream.