I’ve been pretty busy recently producing a new musical, a film, an outdoor theatre piece and a narrative spoken word piece. I’m also trying to buy a flat. Then the other week I sliced the top of my finger off using a mandolin. In the midst of all this I have been eating, but I haven’t found the time to take photos of my food and then write about it. So over the past couple of months my blogs have been less regular than I would have liked, but I hope that in the next few months I will have a completed musical, film, theatre piece and spoken word piece, I will be the proud owner of a flat and will once again have ten fingers each with the full quota of flesh.
If there was one thing that was going to get me out of my blogging malaise it was stumbling across a rhubarb product, I love rhubarb and feel it should be taken to the heart of everyone’s culinary existence. This particular rhubarb dish has been developed by Heston who by all accounts is the best of the bunch when it comes to new dishes available in the supermarket.
The crumble has a long list of ingredients in its title and includes the headline rhubarb, but also bramley apple, strawberry, rosemary and coconut, this sounded like it was going to be good. With crumble however the filling is only the half of it, a good topping can make or break a crumble and this one is described as “…a complex crunchy topping containing oats, golden syrup with hints of rosemary and coconut, this is a far-from humble crumble.” and a second description “… a beautifully textured crumble composed of butter, sugar, oats, golden syrup coconut and rosemary” which all sounded good to me.
The crumble was warmed through in the oven for 20 mins and then I smothered it with Ambrosia custard (is there any other kind) and stuck my spoon in. It was horrible. The only flavour that came through all those ingredients was rosemary. It was essentially a rosemary crumble. Rosemary is my favourite herb, but when it powers through and obliterates my favourite thing rhubarb then I lose respect for its woody ways. Often with Heston products I complain that he includes an ingredient in the list but then you can’t taste that ingredient in the product (I ususally apply this to Earl Grey which Heston claims is in about 25% of his stuff but which you can taste in 0% of it) but with this rosemary concoction he has gone so far the other way that pudding was ruined. I really struggled to pick out any rhubarb flavour, in spite of the ingredients list claining it made up 39% of the dish, at one point I did get a chunk of bland apple and when I did get a taste of fruit it was of some overly sweet strawberry gloop which is only 8% of the total. As for the coconut I wouldn’t have had a clue that was there until about 10 minutes after we had finished eating when Naomi picked a shaving out of her teeth. The topping itself was ok, it had good texture, was quite buttery and not too sweet but again it tasted largely of rosemary so it’s hard to say for sure.
I’m hoping that with Christmas just around the corner Heston can pull some good stuff out of the bag but for now all I’m left with is the lingering taste of rosemary.
Heston from Waitrose Rhubarb, Bramley Apple & Strawberry Crumble with Coconut & Rosemary £3.99 for 500g