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Rhubarb and strawberry crumble with Mahlab (a Maroque recipe)

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ready in 1 hour


The family favourite crumble is taken to new heights with the addition of this aromatic Middle Eastern spice, adding a subtle taste of almonds and cherry to the topping.


For the crumble topping:
225g plain flour
75g butter, at room temperature
75g Demerara sugar
2 tsp Mahlab
For the filling:
600g rhubarb, cut into chunks
400g strawberries, cut in half if large
60g Demerara sugar (more if you like it sweet


1. Add the rhubarb and sugar to a large saucepan and add a small splash of water, heat gently for about 5 minutes. Add the strawberries and mix well, cover and simmer for a further 3 to 4 minutes. Take off the heat and stir gently and set aside until ready to assemble the crumble. Pre heat the oven to 180C, gas mark 4.

2. Put the flour in a large bowl and add the butter, rub the butter into the flour lightly using your finger tips until the mixture is combined and resembles crumbs. Add the sugar and mahlab and mix well to make sure the spice is evenly mixed in.

3. Put the fruit filling into either a 1.75 pie dish or 6 ramekins and sprinkle the crumble mixture over the fruit, spreading out evenly with a fork.

4. Bake in an oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is lightly golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard.

Serves 6

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