I HAVEN’T baked much over the summer – been out enjoying the fine weather too much.

But I made up for it this week with a baked blackcurrant cheesecake, an orange, chocolate and cardamom loaf and this lovely crumble, which I share with you today.

The inspiration came from a late-night watch of an old Nigel Slater cookery show, where he showed how to make delicious meals out of the leftovers and unloved ingredients in the fridge and store cupboard.

I was suspicious about the lovely fruit he packed into his crumble; not a bruise or patch of wizened skin in sight. That’s TV for you, I guess.

What I learned from Nige, though, was that pretty much anything goes when it comes to crumble – and the more the better. Nuts and oats and seeds in the topping, and apple, pear, nectarine and banana in the filling. The latter was added because Nigel likes to give friends “a surprise” when they tuck in.

The culinary remnants of my week were more frugal: a box of cooked rhubarb pieces in the freezer, oats and poppy seeds in the cupboard to add to the crumble top.

But I did follow Nigel’s suggestion and added a sliced banana to my rhubarb filling. It was a lovely surprise indeed when my family tucked in – and it worked surprisingly well, the banana adding a sweet, squidginess on top of the tart rhubarb.

Rhubarb and banana crumble

Serves 4


500g/1lb of rhubarb
30g/ ¾ oz stem ginger (or a sprinkling of ginger spice; both optional)
75g/2½ oz sugar
1 banana, sliced


125g/ 4½ oz butter
190g/6½ oz plain flour
125g/4½ oz brown sugar
Scattering of poppy seeds (can use sunflower or pumpkin, or all three)
Generous handful of jumbo oats


Heat oven to 400F/200C/GM6 Wash and chop the rhubarb into 2cm (1/2 inch) lengths and place in hot pan, add sugar and ginger (if using) and cook through until just done, but keeping its shape.

Crumb together the butter and flour; add the sugar, oats and seeds, until resembles a crumble mix.

Place rhubarb in oven-proof dish, slice banana over the top.

Cover with crumble mix.

Put in oven and cook for about half an hour, until crumble is nicely browned on top.

Serve with custard or vanilla ice-cream.