Friday, August 24, 2012

Project Cookbook: Rhubarb Star Anise Crumble

As I mentioned in my rhubarb thyme jam post, I came away from my most recent PCC cooking class raring to go and made this dessert immediately...which was back in June! So yeah, I'm a big blog post slacker and I hesitated to share this now since it's so late in the season, but my rhubarb is still growing. And Megan just did a post for a Rhubarb Gin Fizz (which means rhubarb posts are still in vogue). And if you don't have fresh rhubarb, you can tuck this away for next spring or use seasonal fruit such as fresh peaches or wild blackberries instead. The best part of this recipe is really the "crumble" anyway!

Becky (the awesome teacher) served the crumble with Snoqualmie ginger ice cream. Normally I'd be a purist and go with vanilla for a crumble, but the ginger ice cream was a perfect pairing.
My new favorite brand of ice cream. Every flavor is incredible! 
Becky mentioned in our class that the raw dough tastes just as good as the final cooked, dessert. She wasn't kidding. It was seriously addicting and because it had no raw eggs in it (not that that's ever stopped me before) I felt just fine eating several snitches of the dough.

I will be honest and say that rhubarb bars are still my all time favorite rhubarb dessert, but this was not only delicious but really unique with the ginger, citrus and star anise. And the crust was over the top. Some day I may try a hybrid of my two recipes using this crust!

Rhubarb Star Anise Crumble
Recipe from Becky Selengut adapted from a recipe developed by Jeanette Smith

2 pounds rhubarb, washed and chopped into 1-inch chunks
3-4 pieces whole star anise
1 1/4 cups sugar
1-inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Pinch of salt

3/4 cup raw almonds, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder (yes, tablespoons!)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place all filling ingredients in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Simmer until rhubarb is soft and mixture is fairly thick, about 20 minutes. When cooked, remove star anise and ginger chunks. Lightly butter eight 6-ounce ramekins and divide the rhubarb evenly.

For the topping, lightly toast 1/4 cup of the almonds in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Pulse in the food processor with 2 tablespoons sugar and a pinch of salt until coarsely chopped. Set aside.

Grind the remaining 1/2 cup almonds in the food processor until fine. Mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a food processor with almonds. Place butter chunks over flour mixture and pulse until coarsely combine (about 30 pulses). Put in a medium bowl and gently stir in the buttermilk until just combined. Divide the dough and drop over the rhubarb filling to cover.

Sprinkle toasted almond mixture over the top. Place on cookie sheet and bake 20-25 minutes until bubbly and topping is browned.

Serves 8. 
Murray directing the photo shoot
Recipe #7 from Project Cookbook: My 2012 New Year’s Resolution to cook at least one recipe from every cookbook I own.


  1. Looks rhubarb is having a resurgence......think it was the chicken manure!

  2. Beautiful! And can I somehow get in on some of these cooking classes?

  3. Oooh yeah, this was SO delicious! I love getting to be the taste tester for your projects. :)