This week, I've been craving summer fruit. Or more specifically, baked summer fruit, topped with nutty, buttery crumble and liberally dolloped with Greek yoghurt. I discovered Nigel Slater's recipe for baked peaches through my friend Elizabeth's blog The Backyard Lemon Tree earlier this year and was reminded of it recently when the same recipe was published on Smitten Kitchen at the height of northern hemisphere summer. With stone fruit out of my reach for a good few months yet, I needed a way to satisfy my craving for a juicy, crunchy, throw-together fruit dessert... at the tail end of Sydney winter. Apples and pears I love but I wanted something a bit more punchy in both colour and taste... and found it in rhubarb.
I really wasn't prepared for how good this turned out to be. I'm not saying it's better than the Nigel Slater peaches - that would be blasphemy - but put it this way, in summer, when I've got stone fruit coming out my ears (so to speak) I'll likely be craving this: rhubarb, tossed in sugar and orange zest, baked til it slumps into a sweet, tart ruby red tangle, and covered in a blanket of crisp, caramelised oats. As with its summer counterpart I like it best with a spoonful of plain yoghurt, not out of any sense of restraint, but because the smooth sharpness of the yoghurt beautifully complements the crunch of the crumble and the sweet juiciness of the fruit. And, as an added bonus, it justifies eating any leftovers (in the unlikely event there are any) for breakfast.