Humble (crumble) Pie

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Pie or crumble? One of life’s great conundrums! Now you can have your pie and eat it along with the crumble, all as part of the same pudding. Happy days!

Grease two 8 inch shallow cake tins/or pie dishes, before lining with a thin layer of shortcrust pastry. Homemade or shop bought, both work. I actually used shop bought as I had a block in the freezer I needed to use up. Prick with a fork, then put a piece of greaseproof paper on top of each and fill with lentils, rice or baking beans. Bake in a preheated oven at 180oC for twenty minutes or until golden and crispy.

While they are baking, prepare the crumble topping by blitzing 125g of each butter, light brown sugar, and self raising flour in a food processor. It will start to clump together and at this point add in a couple if handfuls of oats and mix with your hands to ensure the oats stay whole rather than being pulverised by the processor.

Leave the pie crusts to cool slightly before filling with cooking apples, blackberries, blackcurrants or whatever fruit you fancy.

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Sprinkle over about 50g of caster sugar then top with the crumble. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the fruit is tender and serve with custard.

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You can freeze one of the pies for use at a later date of you want or give it to a neighbour like we did. Enjoy!

Rhubarb crumble cake

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Rhubarb is one of those vegetables that tastes great in a variety of dishes provided you add enough sweetness to counteract is distinctive tartness. I love it in a crumble, but wanted to make something with it that I could take to church and people could eat easily after the service without the use of bowls and spoons. Cue, the crumble cake. Moist rhubarb sponge, topped with a lovely oaty crumble.

For the cake,  mix 2, 250ml cups of plain flour with 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt. Then mix in 1 cup Greek yoghurt (I used 0%fat), 3 small lightly beaten eggs, and two and a half very long sticks of rhubarb, diced (approx 4 cups).

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The batter will be ridiculously thick, but fear not, during the cooking process all that lovely rhubarb will release its sumptuous juices to compensate for the stiff mixture. Spread it in a greased and lined baking dish.

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Now, put half a cup of cold diced salted butter in a dish with half a cup of brown sugar and plain flour respectively. Add in a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and rub together to form breadcrumb like granules. Don’t do it too fine as lumps add texture and crisp up nicely during baking.  At this point mix in a half a cup or so of oats, and sprinkle the mixture over the cake batter. As you can probably see from the pics, my crumble didn’t sprinkle well because I did not have any chilled butter, so had to use some which had been sitting at room temperature, and it never makes good crumble like that, although it will still taste delicious.

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Bake at about 180oC for about 45 minutes, or until the batter is cooked and the rhubarb is softened. Leave to cool in the tin before cutting into squares. Serve with custard or clotted cream if you do desire. 

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