Strawberry and rhubarb compote with toasted quinoa crumble

strawberry and rhubarb crumble

When placed in trying situations, I tend to over-think and over-analyse. That usually leaves me feeling very stressed out and drained. Yet on many occasions, the solution is simply right before my eyes; it is my brain that tries to complicate matters.

***

Likewise, when it comes to desserts, I tend to over-think them sometimes – like how to do things differently, what is the best way to do with a certain ingredient etc. It dawned on me in recent days that sometimes, it is best to let the ingredients shine through with their own merit; there’s no need for excessive fussing or meddling.

I was excited to find rhubarb in the market last week. For a moment, I got carried away thinking about the different ways I can use rhubarb in my dessert.

I stopped myself and decided that I should go with a strawberry and rhubarb compote for one simple reason – No one can fault strawberry and rhubarb compote. It is perfect in every way. And there’s hardly anything wrong with going with the familiar, tried and tested.

To jazz up the dessert a little, I decided to experiment with a toasted quinoa crumble. I toasted some quinoa seeds before milling it in a food processor to give me a quinoa flour. The light toasting of these quinoa seeds is enough to bring out its aromatic, nutty flavour which I think makes it more interesting that the usual crumble made of plain flour, butter, and sugar.

strawberries and rhubarb
I must say that the results kind of took me by surprise. It was really amazing!

The combination of the sweet and tart flavours of the strawberry and rhubarb compote goes hand in hand with the crunchy, nutty-flavoured crumble. It was a wonderful dessert to tuck into after a sumptuous brunch spread.

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I guess I should really learn not to over-think desserts (as well as things in general) and instead surprise myself at how simple solutions can bring about the most unforeseen, desirable outcomes.

This dessert is certainly very alluring. I’m glad that I decided to just go with it and not agonize over it.

cooking a rhubarb compote

Recipe: Strawberry and rhubarb compote with toasted quinoa crumble
Serves 4

A compote (almost like a fruit stew, if you like) is one of my favourite ways of working with fruits; it is a great way of maximizing their flavours with minimum treatment. This dessert takes no longer than half an hour from start to finish to put this together. You can also serve the compote with a lovely homemade greek yogurt or alternatively, serve the toasted quinoa crumble with baked apples or plums. The toasted quinoa gives the crumble a lovely nutty flavour.

For the compote:

450g rhubarb, cut into 1/2″ pieces
125g sugar
100ml water
grated zest of half a lemon
250g or a punnet of fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
Optional: 1/2 vanilla bean, scrap seeds in with the rhubarb

Method:

1. Add water, sugar, zest of lemon and rhubarb slices into a pot. Heat it over medium fire, bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally. When it comes to a boil, turn down heat to allow it to simmer.

2. The rhubarb should start to break down and become tender after about 10 minutes. Add in the strawberries and cook for another 5 minutes or until strawberries have softened.

3. The compote can be served warm or cool.

Toasted quinoa crumble

Ingredients:

75g quinoa seeds
100g plain flour
50g sugar
40g brown sugar
pinch of salt
140g unsalted butter, cubed

Method:

1. Make quinoa flour: Toast quinoa seeds on a saucepan over medium-low fire until fragrant. Allow the seeds to cool slightly before milling them through a food processor until flour-like consistency.

2. Make the crumble: Rub in the cubed butter into the dry ingredients until coarse breadcrumb consistency, it is okay to have a few bigger clumps. It shouldn’t be too fine as these bigger clumps would be really good to eat. Alternatively, you can do this in a food processor, pulsing every 30 seconds until butter is evenly distributed.

3. Place crumbs onto a lined baking tray and refrigerate until firm, while you preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius.

4. Bake for about 15- 18 minutes until golden brown in colour. You may need to toss the mixture and rotate the tray front to back midway through the baking.

5. Allow it to cool completely before serving. You can store the leftovers in an air-tight container for a week or in the freezer for a month.

To assemble:

1. Spoon the compote into margarita glasses. Scoop the cooled crumble onto the top of the compote and serve.

toasted quinoa flour

strawberry rhubarb

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About jothetartqueen

My first love is eating. A very close second is my love for baking and cooking. I passionately believe that the best form of appreciation of something is almost always through the creation of it. This passion took me on a whirlwind, unforgettable ride through the patisserie diploma course at Le Cordon Bleu (Sydney). Join me on my discovery for the love of food – through the kitchen, through the markets, through experimenting, tasting and loving.
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15 Responses to Strawberry and rhubarb compote with toasted quinoa crumble

  1. Quinoa crumble is a really great idea – do you think it would be good if you didn’t put them in the food processor, or do you think they would be too crunchy? I quite like crunchy crumble and always put oats in mine.

  2. You must have read my mind, I’ve been having rhubarb cravings!

  3. This does look wonderful. I think this is the first time I’ve seen quinoa toasted and used like this.. excellent idea!! xx

  4. Yum! I am glad you did not over agonize and keep it simple as this looks so delicious.. However, I am glad to see you experimenting with quinoa and toasting it first.

  5. Oh my, you’ve outdone yourself. This is exactly the kind of thing I could visualize myself ordering at an outdoor cafe, where I had plenty of time to linger. Your creativity with the quinoa crumble is really wonderful. A beautiful, inspiring post (as usual)!

  6. Beautiful photos my friend, I wish I could devour this for breakfast 😀

    Cheers
    CCU

  7. Janine says:

    Quinoa crumble got me sold! I’m trying to introduce quinoa into my diet and this seems like a perfect dessert dish to do so 🙂

  8. Yes, yes, a hundred times yes! It’s only too easy to get caught up in the “more is more” mentality, when simplicity really does rule. Starting with strong ingredients and allowing them to shine is always a better approach, for both taste and work load. No sense in stressing over a single recipe for hours (or days) when it should only take a few minutes at best. Now, I can’t wait to find rhubarb on the market again so I can cook it as simply as possible, just like your mouth-watering crumble.

  9. Hehe well if this is what happens when you overthink things, overthink away! What a great idea using quinoa flour! I’ve never cooked with it but it sounds like a great addition to a crumble 🙂

  10. laurasmess says:

    Wow, quinoa crumble is such a fantastic idea (I know people have said that already but I just had to echo it!). I’m definitely going to try your recipe… hm, now I’m even thinking about the possibility of using quinoa in a toasted granola. Thanks for the inspiration! Gorgeous blog you have here Jo!

  11. Pingback: Cherry tomatoes, shallots & basil quinoa salad | jothetartqueen

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