For those of you wondering where the last and sweetest of the Italian Feast recipes is, it is here in its simplistically-delicious glory and ready to be baked by you. I’m not sure how often rhubarb is used in the culinary world of Italy; however, the edible species that is adored by pie-bakers and pie-eaters alike was introduced to Europe by the Italian botanist, Prosper Alpinus, in 1608. Thus, by using nothing more than a “by association” connection, I’m categorizing rhubarb crumble as an Italian dessert. This crumble is easy to make and quick to please. By using frozen rhubarb, which is more readily available in the winter, you’ll knock off 10 minutes of prep-time; however, if you have access to fresh rhubarb stalks, I highly recommend using those as both the flavor and color will be brighter.
Rhubarb Crumble (Makes 4-6 tartlettes)
Modified from Simply Recipes
2 lbs frozen or fresh rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 cup all-purpose flour (may substitute wheat flour)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut into cubes
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together the rhubarb, sugar, 1/4 flour, vanilla extract, and cardamom. Spoon into tartlette pans or a 9 x 13-baking dish.
2. For the crumble: In a food processor, pulse together flour, salt, and brown sugar. Add the butter and pulse until pieces are pea-sized. Spread topping over rhubarb mixture.
3. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes (tartlettes) or 35-45 minutes (9 x 13) or until the filling is bubbling and the topping is lightly browned. Let cool and serve alone or with vanilla ice cream.