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Blueberry Rhubarb Crumble

Blueberry Rhubarb Crumble

Blueberry Rhubarb Crumble

Blueberry Rhubarb Crumble is one of my favorite mid-summer desserts…and breakfasts. Okay, maybe lunch and a lake night snack too. Wild blueberries are ripening while the late season rhubarb is still going. The flavor is more intense than the traditional strawberry rhubarb combination so you might want to use a smaller amount of blueberries than you do strawberries when you make a strawberry rhubarb crumble. blueberry rhubarb crumbles recipe
recipe, Blueberry Rhubarb Crumble, blueberry crumble, blueberry buckle If you use frozen berries you should thaw them completely and drain the juice from each fruit. Save the juice! You can use it for a batch of blueberry rhubarb jelly or thicken it for syrup to pour over ice cream.

Filling:

  • 3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups rhubarb
  • ½ cup honey (or sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup organic whole wheat flour (or whatever you like, would be good with oatmeal flour)

Crumble Topping

  • 1½ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup maple syrup (or sugar)
  • ½ cup soft butter

Instructions

  1. Thaw berries if frozen, saving the juice for something else. Chop rhubarb into ¼” pieces. Combine with sugar, flour and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. Mix oats, maple syrup and butter until crumbly. I use the Kitchen Aid.
  3. Butter the bottom of an 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″ pan. Pour the filling in, top with crumble. Or, pour the crumble in and top with filling.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes at 350°

To save a few minutes of heat in the kitchen, turn the oven off after 13 minutes and leave the door closed for another 12 minutes.

Blueberry Rhubarb Crumble. A twist on the traditional strawberry and rhubarb recipe. Click To Tweet

Blueberry Rhubarb Crumble Tips

For variety, you can replace the cinnamon with apple pie or pumpkin pie spice, or leave it out.

I don’t add salt to this recipe because salt tends to make fruit sweat. You don’t want a puddle of juice at the bottom of the pan.

If you do get a puddle of juice you can sit the dish on something in the fridge to let the juice run to an empty corner. If you use blueberries from the same batch again, add a two or three tablespoons of tapioca, pectin or cornstarch to the flour you use in the fruit.

This recipe works well in Ramiken dishes for individual servings. Same dessert but a little nicer presentation. Cut the baking time to 12-13 minutes.

Transplant Rhubarb into Your Garden

Transplant Rhubarb into Your Garden

Transplant Rhubarb

Rhubarb isn’t a fussy plant. It likes a lot of food and water but dislikes weeds. Growing rhubarb is an old homesteading tradition in New England. It’s one of the first foods to break dormancy in the spring, and while it doesn’t like to be neglected it will grow on its own for years before it gives up. Choose a spot in full sun with sandy loam that drains well but doesn’t dry out quickly. Before you transplant rhubarb be sure you’ve chosen a place you want it to grow for years because rhubarb is a perennial.

Victoria rhubarb, my favorite. I plunked this into the garden while transplanting old plants.

transplant rhubarb, Victoria rhubarbI knew it was time to divide and transplant rhubarb because the stalks were small and dense, but there was a hole in the center of the clump. The root was woody and rotting. I sliced away at the plant with my spade, broke a lot of the rotting root off, and transplanted the pieces into a new row.

There are three things to remember when you transplant rhubarb.

  1. Rip grass out by its roots or rhizomes if you have to follow them all the way to China, or the edge of the garden, whichever comes first, before it establishes itself in commodity crop proportions. That goes for all other weeds, too.
  2. Keep the soil healthy with compost, dead fish, and straw that will break down to feed the microherd.
  3. Separate the plants before the roots are woody and rotting. Bonus: rhubarb plants to share.

Transplanting in general is best done on an overcast or at least cool day. Heat, high wind and intense sun can be hard on young plants. We can’t always choose our schedule by the weather but if you can, do so. You can see the results of sun and heat on these plants. They’ve wilted. I’d rather use plants that aren’t showing signs of growth yet but that doesn’t usually happen in my garden. Do what you need to do and make the best of it. I’ve either purchased or been given plants that are already growing, or like this instance, dividing the plant was long overdue. The stalks that don’t bounce back will be trimmed off and tucked under the straw to break down.

I dig a hole the size of basketball for each plant. Place the holes four feet apart to accommodate spreading. That sounds like a lot but it’s only two feet per plant in each direction. Pull all weeds, especially perennial weeds. Do it now no matter how small a weed might be. No weeds.

Our pond is over run with brown bullhead (hornpout) so we fish out the bigger fish and bait trap the small fish. I kill them and put them at the bottom of the holes, about a quart of fish per hole. Fish guts after a great day fishing work well. No picture needed, right? No fish? Use a half-gallon of compost. Rhubarb can’t be put on a diet; feed it well starting the day you plant.

  • If you use fish you should mix a shovel full of soil with the fish then add two or three inches of soil on top.
  • If you’re using compost you can mix the soil and compost together.
  • You should have two or three inches of space left. Place a root in each hole and loosely cover with soil. You should have two to four inches of soil over the roots. The roots will spread out and down as they grow.

Water well as soon as you’ve covered the roots. The soil over the roots will settle down to the recommended one to two inches needed.

This step is optional. I do it to slow down weeds. Add a layer of cardboard around and in between the plants. I leave an opening eight to ten inches around the roots to give the plants room to grow. The cardboard will break down by the following spring. Water the cardboard until it’s soaked.

cardboard, weed block, transplant rhubarbApply a six inch layer of straw around the plants to block weeds, conserve water, and slowly feed the soil as it breaks down. If the the straw breaks down a lot between spring and fall you should mulch again with two inches of compost and more straw or leaves.

transplant rhubarb, planting rhubarbTen days later:
transplant rhubarb, mulch, strawWater deeply once or twice a week depending on the weather and wind, until the plants are well established. Once they’ve developed a strong root system, and as long as you’ve planted them in good soil, you shouldn’t have to water again except in the height of summer or in cases of drought.