Crumbles are a distinctly British dessert and can be made with all manner of fruits for a sweet treat. Rhubarb, apple and peach are among the favourites around the world, growing in popularity since the dessert was established during World War 2.

The crumble topping was an economical way to enjoy pies without pastry – with the ingredients of pastry hard to come by during the period of rationing.

So, flour, fat and sugar are rubbed together to form the crunchy and delicious topping we know today.

Crumbles can also be enjoyed as a savoury dish, removing sugar from the topping and adding in cheese, and using mince, other meats and vegetables for the filling.

Many of us have taken to baking during lockdown, spending time creating sweet and savoury treats.

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In fact, data from SEMrush found google searches for ‘how to make a rhubarb crumble’ had soared by a staggering 1580.56 percent from February to April.

So if you want to turn your hand at baking a rhubarb crumble, has put together an easy recipe.

How to make rhubarb crumble


For the filling

  • 500g rhubarb, chopped into chunks the length of your thumb
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp port (optional)

For the crumble topping

  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 85g butter, chilled
  • 50g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 50g chopped walnuts (optional)


Tip the 500g thumb-length chunks of rhubarb into a saucepan with 100g golden caster sugar and the three tablespoons of port, if using.

Cover and simmer on a very low heat for 15 mins, adding more sugar if you want.

When soft (but still holding its shape) and sweet enough, pour the rhubarb into a medium baking dish.

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Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6.

To make the topping, rub 140g self-raising flour and 85g chilled butter together with your fingers until you have a soft, crumbly topping.

Now add 50g light brown muscovado sugar and 50g chopped walnuts, if using. Mix together with your hands.

Scatter the topping over the rhubarb and bake for 30 mins or until golden brown on top.

Serve piping hot with a big jug of thick vanilla custard.

If you want to make your own custard, here’s how

Vanilla Custard recipe


  • 1l milk
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 140g vanilla sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 3 tbsp plain flour


Heat the milk in the saucepan until it comes just up to the boil, then take off the heat immediately.

In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks, vanilla sugar and flours. Pour the milk slowly over the egg mix, beating well.

Return the mixture to the pan and place over a low heat, stirring for eight to 10 mins until the mixture begins to thicken.

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