This most English of puddings is entirely irresistible, especially with a large dollop of custard. Try Mike Robinson's rhubarb crumble recipe

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Rhubarb crumble is best saved for a Sunday. The sharp fruit and sweet topping make this pudding irresistibly moorish and, served with a large jug of extra thick vanilla custard, it is guaranteed to delight your guests. Try Mike Robinson’s recipe for rhubarb crumble to make this quintessentially British dessert.

A rhubarb crumble might be the obvious pudding to make with those shocking pink stems, but we’ve got plenty of other suggestions. Rhubarb trifle makes for an elegant and light dessert for warmer spring evenings and Mike Robinson’s secret twist in this recipe is to replace custard for mascarpone. Or rhubarb fool is a great post Easter dessert. Slightly lighter, it makes a delicious crumble replacement for the warmer months.

RHUBARB CRUMBLE

Serves 6

  • 250g (9oz) caster sugar
  • 1 kg (21⁄4lb) young rhubarb, chopped into 5cm sticks
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 250g (9oz) butter
  • 500g (18oz) plain flour
  • 200g (7oz) dark brown soft sugar

Start by putting the caster sugar and rhubarb in a shallow steel pan. No water needs to be added. Leave it on a very gentle heat to bring out the juice and melt the sugar. Add the cardamom and split and scrape the seeds out of the vanilla. Add those, too.

Meanwhile, melt the butter. Put the flour and brown sugar in a big mixing bowl, add the butter and rub together into crumbs. Place in the oven spread out on a big baking tray at 180˚C/350˚F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes, turning every five. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

By now the rhubarb should look sticky and done. Spoon it into a big dish and sprinkle the top with a generous layer of crumble. Pop in a hot oven until the top is crunchy and a bit golden. Serve with lovely, viscous, yellow Jersey double cream.