Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Crumble, Crisp, Cobbler, Good

We are not dessert eaters in this household, but every now and then you just can't say no. I have no resistance when it comes to fresh fruit and the idea of adding ice cream just makes me quiver.

Enter the lowly Crumble. You see these wonderful fruit desserts which are given different names. The Crumble (which is also sometimes called a Crisp) is a topping made with flour, brown sugar, oats (or some other cereal grain) and sometimes nuts. It has a granola type texture and covers the entire top of the dish. A Cobbler has the fruit covered with a complete dough topping, resembling a pie without the bottom crust. A Slump is the fruit topped with biscuits and cooked on top of the stove usually in an iron skillet. They are all tasty, but I am partial to the ease and goodness of the Crumble. I also have convinced myself that a Crumble is healthy because you are using oats (just don't think about the butter or sugar).

I have had the best luck using blueberries for this dessert. I have also combined some peaches in here too. It's always good and it's always gone. This is a perfect dish to be served up with really good vanilla ice cream while you are sitting on the deck enjoying the end of summer. I think we might just do that this evening.

Blueberry Crumble
½ cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt
5 cups fresh blueberries rinsed and drained (this is about 2 pints)
2/3 cup all purpose flour
½ cup old fashioned oats (not the quick cooking kind)
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter really cold and cut into 6 pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the granulated sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Add the berries to the bowl and toss gently to coat. I have found using a rubber spatula gets the job done without being too harsh on the fruit. Transfer this to a 8”X8” square baking pan that has been coated with cooking spray (trust me, you’ll be glad you did this).

Place the oats, brown sugar and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse 2 or 3 times to blend. Add the butter and pulse until you have clumps about the size of dimes. Alternately you could put the first ingredients in a bowl then cut the butter in with a pastry cutter. Whichever is easier for you. I usually use the pastry cutter method because I’m too lazy to clean the food processor. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top of the blueberries.

Bake until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden brown in color, approximately 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.


You can add fresh peaches to this mixture. Substitute 2 peeled and sliced peaches for about 2 cups of the blueberries. In fact I used 1 pint of blueberries and 2 peaches and it was scrumptious. Or you could use all peaches and throw in a few raisins. I also added a pinch of nutmeg to the crumble topping. Another great addition would be nuts. Toasted almond slivers or pecans would add some more crunch.

Any firm fruit would make a good crumble, you would just need to adjust the sugar content based on which fruit you choose.

No comments:

Post a Comment