Rhubarb Crumble and Custard

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Rhubarb Crumble and Custard

If you're looking for a delicious and easy dessert to make the family smile, look no further than this rhubarb crumble and custard recipe. This classic British dish is made with fresh rhubarb, sugar, butter, flour and oats, and served with a rich and creamy homemade custard. It's a perfect way to end a meal on a cold winter's night.

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Here's how to make it:




For the Rhubarb Filling:

  • 800g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 3cm pieces
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp water

For the Crumble Topping:

  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g cold butter, cubed
  • 50g rolled oats
  • 50g demerara sugar

For the Custard:

  • 300ml whole milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. To make the rhubarb filling, toss the rhubarb with the sugar, vanilla and water in a large baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft but still holds its shape.
  2. To make the crumble topping, put the flour and butter in a large bowl and rub them together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the oats and demerara sugar.
  3. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the rhubarb filling, covering it completely. Bake for another 25 minutes or until golden and crisp on top.
  4. To make the custard, heat the milk, cream and vanilla pod and seeds in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until just simmering. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together until smooth.
  5. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, then return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Do not let it boil or it will curdle.
  6. Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a jug and discard the vanilla pod. Serve the warm rhubarb  crumble with the hot custard poured over it. Enjoy!

Rhubarb Crumble Origin

Rhubarb Crumble, traditionally known as a brown betty, is a dish of British origin. It became popular in Britain during World War II when the nation was in rationing mode and a crumble topping offered a more economical alternative to pies due to shortages of pastry ingredients. The most common of the crumbles is the apple crumble, but you could use berries, peaches, plums and, interestingly, rhubarb, which isn't in fact a fruit but a vegetable.

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