Hi everyone, it’s with a new recipe that can hopefully help us all to welcome the long-awaited spring that is soon to come. It’s still very much winter here in the Swiss alps, a snowless one, I might add, but I just came back from visiting my family in Provence where there is a distinct spring vibe lingering in the air. Every March, while the fields and trees are still bare, and lavender is missing its purple hues, yet there are almond trees blooming all around. They’re like messengers of spring and rather pretty to look at. I always try to catch the groves for the most spectacular sightings, but this time I only caught a few lonely trees on a hill close by... Yet was enough to get me inspired to use almonds in something in the kitchen.
Having stumbled upon a few rhubarb stalks and blood oranges in a market on the way back, I decided that a rhubarb, blood orange and almond crumble would be my creation. Blood orange and rhubarb season overlaps just a little, making them a wonderful dessert pairing, as blood oranges have a bit more gusto than the regular oranges. Not to mention that a crumble is possibly the easiest and most comforting dessert to rustle up quickly.
To save time (and washing up) I usually mix everything up in the same baking tin and sprinkle with the crumble. Half an hour later the bubbly and heart warming dessert awaits and only calls for a generous dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. A word must be said about mint in this dish. I find that so many desserts employ mint purely for its lovely look though it does close to nothing to the dish itself. In some cases, mint not only adds zero to the dish but also puts the whole dessert out of balance. Here, on the other hand, mint is an ingredient on its own and adds a wonderful freshness and even more of a spring feeling to this sweet plate. So, if you happen to have rhubarbs and blood oranges at hand, I cannot recommend enough to make it but also to add some mint.
Note: This dessert, has just enough sweetness to balance the sour notes of rhubarb, but it is not very sweet, so you cannot taste only sugar. If you do fancy extremely sweet desserts, you might want to add a bit of extra sugar to it.
Variations: Once blood oranges are out of the picture and strawberries come to farmstands, you can make the same crumble by switching blood oranges with 1 ½ cup of sliced strawberries and ¼ cup of crème de cassis liquor.
Rhubarb, blood orange and almond crumble
FILLING 5 large rhubarb stalks 1/4/ 50 g light brown sugar 1/2cup/120 ml blood orange juice (about 2 oranges) 1 orange zest 5 tbsp light brown sugar 2 tsp corn-starch
TOPPING 60g/4 tbsp butter, chilled 1/3 cup/65g flour 2 tbsp light brown sugar 1/2 cup/ 65g almond flakes bunch of mint vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream
MAKE: Preheat the oven to 180°C/375°F. Slice rhubarb and mix it with orange zest, sugar, corn-starch and juice. In separate bowl, mix butter, flour and sugar together, till crumbs form and then mix in almond flakes. You could also do it in a food processor, but it’s rather quick and this way there’s less washing up to do.
FINISH: Top rhubarb with crumble and bake for about 30 minutes, till it’s browned and bubbly. Take out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream and fresh mint.
Please feel free to share on your social media if you love this recipe, we'd appreciate the love and I'd like to see my recipe make it into kitchens all over because it's so yummy! See you on March 30th with another recipe from my kitchen to yours, cattledogs readers! - Gintare.
(Photography, Styling, Text: Gintare Marcel. Editor: Holly Becker)