Recipe: Apple Rhubarb Crumble and Fruit Scrap Vinegar

My husband brought back a few sticks of rhubarb from a recent trip up to Mt Tamborine (he doesn’t understand why I love it but knows that I do so road-side stalls with rhubarb now always get a visit). I wanted to stew it last week but we’ve had no gas for our stove for the last seven days and have been boiling water on a camping stove on the counter for our teas. Very frustrating! I would usually stir my chopped apples and rhubarb in a pot over the stove but without gas I’ve used the Thermomix this time, and experimented a bit.

I’ve been wanting to stew some apple for some time because I am running out of vinegar! I use my fruit scraps (from organic fruit) to make my own fruit scrap vinegar. Today all my scraps are now sitting in a sugar solution and are starting to ferment happily on my counter top (in a dark, out-of-the-way place). Making fruit scrap vinegar is easy – keep your scraps (organic is best because you use the peel) then put them into a jar large enough to hold a pint of water. Fill the jar halfway with scraps, then fill it up to the top with a sugar solution (1 pint water to 1/4 cup sugar). Cover the jar with a bit of muslin and leave it for a week to ferment. That’s it! Take the scraps out after a week and then let it ferment for another week or so. You’ve got your own delicious organic vinegar. Anything you use apple cider vinegar for you can use fruit scrap vinegar for.

Back to the recipe though – the apple and rhubarb are sweet enough on their own, but if you are afraid it might be bitter then you could add some berries for sweetness, or perhaps a handful of sultanas to the fruit before you stew it. Ours was just fine though. Naturally sweet on its own 🙂  I used to make the crumble topping with butter, brown sugar and oats, but as I don’t eat grains and sugar anymore I changed it. With nuts and coconut oil it is more like a streusel topping I guess, although it is suitable for people eating vegan and GAPS diets too.

This is delicious for breakfast or morning tea with creamy home-made yogurt or for dessert with  a dairy-free ice cream like CocoLuscious. I served it at playgroup with some yogurt that I made at home with creamy fresh goats milk (There is a BIG difference in taste between fresh goat’s milk and the goat’s milk that you buy in the supermarket! It is really tasty and not at all ‘goaty’!)

APPLE RHUBARB CRUMBLE

STEWED FRUIT INGREDIENTS

4 sticks of trimmed rhubarb

5 large green apples

1 orange

cinnamon

mixed spice

I cooked up 4 sticks of rhubarb, chopped into 1 inch pieces (forgot to weight it, sorry!) and 1 peeled and sliced green apple with the juice and finely grated rind of one orange. I also shook a bit of cinnamon and mixed spice in there too. That was all cooked together until it was nice and slushy (on the stove you’d have it over a low-medium heat and stir all the time). It is miraculous how the rhubarb just melts as it cooks!

That didn’t make much and I still had another four big green apples so I peeled and thinly sliced those then layered them in a dish, spooned a bit of the rhubarb mixture on top and kept layering until I had nothing left. A sprinkle of cinnamon on the top and then I spooned over the crumble topping.

TOPPING INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup sultanas

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup hazlenuts

1 cup almonds

3 tbs coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut

cinnamon

I whizzed it all up in the thermomix (food processor works just as well) until it looked crumbly. Then spooned it over the apple and rhubarb mixture and put it in the oven. It was baked at 180 until it was brown on top. This should be enough to soften the thinly sliced apple layered between the stewed fruit.

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