Serves 2
6 small stalks young rhubarb
granulated sugar
½ vanilla bean
⅓ cup (75 ml) muscovado brown sugar
3 tbsp (45 ml) hazelnuts, ground and lightly toasted
½ cup (125 ml) all-purpose flour
⅓ cup (75 ml) chilled butter, diced
pinch of sea salt
preserved pears, for garnish
vanilla whipped cream or ice cream, for garnish
fresh lemon balm, for garnish


  1. Gently peel stalks with a sharp paring knife. Place peeled skins in a saucepan with enough equal parts sugar and water to cover, and seeds scraped from vanilla bean. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain liquid in a bowl and discard skins. Return liquid to saucepan.
  2. Chop fresh rhubarb into bite-sized pieces. Add to liquid and poach until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment. Pulse remaining ingredients, other than garnishes, in a food processor to a course sand texture. Sprinkle evenly over parchment-lined pan. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool to room temperature and chop to desired size of crumble.
  4. Serve a ribbon of crumble on a dessert plate, dollop with some poached rhubarb. Place a couple slices of preserved pears on top and dollop with whipped cream or ice cream and garnish with fresh lemon balm.
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