Tag Archives: Crumble

Apple Cranberry Crisp

~ Apple and Cranberry Crisp with Calvados Cream ~

If it’s not broken, then don’t fix it. Sage advice in life and the kitchen, and very relevant to this fruit crisp. A good fruit crisp (or crumble – I go both ways) should contain seasonal fruit at it’s peak in flavor, subtley enhanced with a dusting of sugar and spice. The topping should be crisp and crumbly (see why I go both ways?) without being cloyingly over-sweet, allowing the fruit to shine through. I like to serve crisps with whipped cream, ever so lightly sweetened and fortified with a nip of spirits dictated by the fruit of choice. Everything works together, and when you have a recipe that encourages this, don’t mess with it. I love this crisp, and I think you will too.

Apple Cranberry Crisp

I used walnuts for this crisp, but feel free to switch them for hazelnuts, almonds or pecans, depending on the fruit you use. For this crisp I used apples given to me from a friend’s tree – my guess is they are Honeycrisp – and Granny Smith which I like for baking. Serves 8.

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut in pieces
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

For the filling:
8 large baking apples, peeled, quartered, cut in 3/4 inch chunks
1/2 cup dried cranberries or 1 cup fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 F. (190 C.) Combine flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt in bowl of a food processor. Briefly pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until topping resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a bowl and stir in walnuts. (Topping may be made up to one day in advance. Cover and refrigerate until use).

Combine apples and cranberries in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients; toss to combine. Transfer fruit to a 9-by-13 inch baking pan, gratin dish or individual ramekins.  Cover evenly with the topping. Bake in oven until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling, about 50 minutes. (If using individual ramekins, the baking time will be shortened to about 40 minutes). Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature with Calvados Cream.

Calvados Cream

2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Calvados Brandy

Beat cream in bowl of electric mixer until whisk traces are visible in the cream. Add sugar and Calvados. Continue to beat until soft peaks form.

If you like this, then you might enjoy these recipes from TasteFood:
Fig and Raspberry Upside-down Cake
Pear Clafoutis
Chocolate Pots de Crème

Blueberry Crumble Bars

Simple, sweet and oozing with fruit, Blueberry Crumble Bars are dessert’s answer to comfort food. I was in the mood for something just like this – an unfussy, child-friendly dessert that would please all ages. Prompted by a bag of blueberries in my freezer – a lingering souvenir from last summer – I thought of a blueberry cookie bar. After a quick scan of the web for inspiration, I spied a recipe at Smitten Kitchen, by way of allrecipes. This was exactly the kind of dessert I wanted to  make: A recipe passed from kitchen to kitchen, tweaked with each rendition and then handed off to the next home cook. So, now I pass this recipe on to you – with just a few more tweaks. There is nothing complicated about this recipe, except the challenge of not eating too many in one go.

Blueberry Crumble Bars
Makes 16 – 20 bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 large egg
Zest and juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 F. (190 C.) Butter an 8 inch square baking pan. Line with parchment and butter parchment.
Combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl of food processor. Pulse to blend. Add butter and egg. Pulse until dough resembles coarse crumbs. Pulse in lemon zest.
Whisk 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and cinnamon together in a bowl. Add blueberries and stir to combine.
Evenly spread half of the dough in the prepared pan. Spread blueberries evenly over the dough. Top with remaining dough. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 45 minutes. Remove and cool to allow the flavors to develop and the bars to firm up.

If you like this, you might enjoy these TasteFood recipes:
Pear, Plum and Blueberry Crisp with Hazelnut Streusel
Blueberry Crumb Cake
Blueberry Tart

or these recipes from the food blogs:
Blueberry Gelato from eCurry
Blueberry Lemon Cream Cheese Muffin from Two Peas and Their Pod
Blueberry Oat Quick Bread from the Kitchn

Pear and Prune Crumble with Armagnac Cream

I almost didn’t post this recipe for Pear and Prune Crumble, since there are other similar recipes on TasteFood. Then I gave it some more thought: Crumbles are homey and rustic, easy to prepare and flexible with ingredients. They can be dressed up or simplified and are a surefire crowd pleaser. That’s worth sharing as an example – again.

A year round dessert, the crumble is forgiving. It effortlessly absorbs the season’s best fruit, tossed with some sugar and spice, then crowned with a streusel topping. Its nuance rests in the choice of fruit and spice. Summer begs for berries and stone fruit and a wisp of spice. Fall beckons apples, cranberries and bolder mulling spices. In the winter I prefer the prolific pear. Sturdy and gently perfumed, the pear provides a soft spoken backdrop for the filling, which I like to punctuate with intensely flavored prunes. As the crumble bakes, the prunes break down adding a rich and winey flavor, further amplified by a heady trio of spices – cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg.

To this particular recipe I also added frozen wild blueberries, which  I happened to have in my freezer and wanted to use up (as I said, crumbles are forgiving.) I served this dessert topped with Armagnac Spiked Whipped Cream which adds an appropriately warm and fortifiying kick to a winter crumble.

Pear and Prune Crumble with Hazelnut Streusel and Armagnac Cream

Serves 8-10

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

For the filling:
8 ripe but firm Bartlett pears, cored peeled, cut in 1 inch chunks
20 prunes, pitted and halved
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup frozen wild blueberries (optional)

Armagnac Spiked Whipped Cream (recipe below)

Prepare the topping:
Whisk together all the ingredients except the butter and hazelnuts in a large bowl. Add butter and work into the topping, using your fingertips, until the it resembles coarse meal. Stir in hazelnuts. Cover and refrigerate until use.

Prepare the crumble:
Preheat oven to 375 F. (190 C.) Butter a rectangular baking dish.
Place all of the filling ingredients (except the blueberries) in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Pour into the baking dish. Scatter blueberries over the fruit if using. Spoon the topping evenly over the fruit. Bake in the oven until pears are soft and topping is golden brown, about 50 minutes. Remove and cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with Armagnac Spiked Whipped Cream.

Armagnac Spiked Whipped Cream
Makes 2 cups (recipe may be halved)

2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Armagnac

Beat cream in bowl of electric mixer with a wire whisk until thickened. Add sugar and armagnac. Continue to beat until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until use. (May be made up to 4 hours in advance.)

If you like this you might enjoy these TasteFood recipes:
Pear Clafouti
Rhubarb Trifle with Almond Macarons
Ginger Pear Streusel Cake

or these desserts from the food blogs:
Baked Banana Crumble from Dine and Dish
Apple Crumble Cake from Just Hungry
Butternut Squash Crumble from La Tartine Gourmande

Pear Plum and Blueberry Crisp with Hazelnut Streusel

Pear Crisp tf

When I have a lot of fruit lying about, I make a crisp. It’s an efficient way to use up ripe fruit, and a perfect expression of the season’s ingredients. Not only that, it’s a great way to serve dessert to a crowd. Unfussy to prepare, the assembled crisp may be refrigerated up to 3 hours before baking. For a dinner party I’ll pop it in the oven when we sit down to eat the main course. Then it’s ready and piping hot when it’s time for dessert.

Feel free to combine several fruits in a crisp. I like to mix 2-3 types of fruit, choosing for a variety of colors and textures as well as a balance between sweetness and tartness in flavor.  Pears are prominent at the farmer’s market now as well as late season plums and berries. For this crisp I combined softly sweet bosc pears with spiced plums and tart blueberries.

Pear Plum and Blueberry Crisp with Hazelnut Streusel

Serves 10-12

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut in 1/2″ cubes
1/2 cup toasted, skinned and chopped hazelnuts

For the filling:
6 large Bosc pears, about 3 pounds, peeled cored, cut in 1″ chunks
6 plums, halved, each half quartered
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest from one lemon
1 pint blueberries

Prepare topping:
Mix flour, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a medium bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingers until topping resembles coarse meal. Mix in hazelnuts. (Topping may be prepared up to one day in advance. Refrigerate until use.)

Prepare filling:
Preheat oven to 375 F. (190 C.)
Combine all of the ingredients except the blueberries in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Spread in a rectangular baking dish. Scatter blueberries over the filling. Cover the filling evenly with the topping.
Bake until bubbly and golden brown on top, about 50 minutes. Remove and serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.

Summer Comfort Food: Nectarine, Blueberry and Raspberry Crisp

Nectarine Raspberry Crisp

I confess to being a glutton when it comes to stone fruit. There is a window of time when peaches, apricots, nectarines and plums run rampant at the market. Vibrantly hued and mottled in purples, oranges, fuscias and crimson, their flesh is a perfect balance of sweet, tangy, winey, and tart.  I could eat them all day long, but then my stomach would hurt.  At this time when these gifts are abundant, I tend to overshop. My kitchen counters are lined with bowls and baskets brimming with fruit.  So, it’s no surprise that even in our home, all of this fruit cannot be eaten at their peak of ripeness.  Some start to get a little too ripe, buried at the bottom of the bowl, or even passed over for the newest batch from the market.  As I said, I have indulgence issues.

This is the moment when a crumble or crisp comes in handy.  It’s desserts’ equivalent to a homey vegetable soup.  Gather up all the ripe, somewhat passed fruit (as you might with vegetables for a soup), cut and chop and pile them in a baking dish.  Garnish with berries and pile on the topping.  The tartness of the berries balances the sweetness of the stone fruit, and with little added sugar the result is a rich, murky, sweet – but not cloying, perfumed stew of summer fruit. It’s best served warm, but not piping hot, since that will mask the flavor of the fruit. A dollop of high quality vanilla ice cream or whipped cream adds a cool foil to the warm, more-ish fruit.

Nectarine, Blueberry and Raspberry Crisp


You can use any stone fruit for the crisp. Try a combination of plums, peaches and nectarines. The addition of raspberries and blueberries adds tartness and depth to the fruity flavor.

Serves 8
For the topping:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut in small cubes


For the fruit:
2 pounds nectarines (or combination of nectarines, plums, peaches), halved and pitted, cut in 1″ chunks
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar

Prepare topping:


Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.  Mix well to combine.  Add butter, and work in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. (Topping may be prepared one day in advance.  Cover and refrigerate until use.)

Prepare crisp:

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Arrange nectarines in rectangular baking dish.  Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.  Arrange raspberries and blueberries over nectarines.  Cover fruit evenly with topping. Bake in oven until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling, 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool briefly.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

If you like this, you might enjoy these fruity recipes from TasteFood:

Blueberry Crostata
Strawberry Napoleon
Grilled Nectarines and Apricots with Yogurt, Honey and Thyme

And more fruit recipes from other foodblogs:

Homemade Peace Ice Cream from Wasabimon
Plum Galette from Simply Recipes
Nectarine and Hazelnut Scones from Cookin’ Canuck
Apricot and Almond Jam from Chocolate and Zucchini

 

Nectarine, Blueberry and Raspberry Crisp

 

Nectarine, Raspberry, Blueberry Crumble tf

I confess to being a glutton when it comes to stone fruit. There is a window of time when peaches, nectarines and plums run rampant at the market. Vibrantly hued and mottled in purples, oranges, fuscias and crimson, their flesh is a perfect balance of sweet, tangy, winey, and tart.  I could eat them all day long, but then my stomach would hurt.  At this time when these gifts are abundant, I tend to overshop.  (It’s no secret that I have indulgence issues at farmers’ markets.)  My kitchen counters are lined with bowls and baskets brimming with fruit.  So, it’s no surprise that even in our home, all of this fruit cannot be eaten at the peak of ripeness.  Some start to get a little too ripe, buried at the bottom of the bowl, or even passed over for the newest batch from the market.  As I said, I have indulgence issues.

This is the moment when a crumble or crisp comes in handy.  It’s desserts’ equivalent to a homey vegetable soup.  Gather up all the ripe, somewhat passed fruit (as you might with vegetables for a soup), cut and chop and pile them in a baking dish.  Garnish with berries and pile on the topping.  The tartness of the berries balances the sweetness of the stone fruit, and with little added sugar the result is a rich, murky, sweet – but not cloying – perfumed stew of summer fruit. It’s best served warm, but not piping hot, since that will mask the flavor of the fruit. A dollop of high quality vanilla ice cream or whipped cream adds a cool foil to the warm, more-ish fruit.

Nectarine, Blueberry and Raspberry Crisp

You can use any stone fruit for the crisp. Try any combination of plums, peaches and nectarines. The addition of raspberries and blueberries adds tartness and color.

Serves 8

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups (170 g.) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 g.) brown sugar
1/4 cup (55 g.) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (170 g.) unsalted butter, cut in small cubes

For the fruit:
2 lbs.(1 kg.) nectarines (or use a combination of nectarines, plums, peaches), halved and pitted, cut in 1″ chunks
1 cup (150 g.) raspberries
1 cup (150 g.) blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar

Prepare topping:
Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.  Mix well to combine.  Add butter, and work in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. (Topping can be prepared one day in advance.  Cover and refrigerate until use.)

Prepare crisp:
Preheat oven to 350 F. (180 C.)
Arrange nectarines in rectangular baking dish.  Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.  Arrange raspberries and blueberries over nectarines.  Cover fruit evenly with topping. Bake in oven until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling, 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool briefly.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

 

Summer Solstice Danish-Style

Denmark is the land of the (nearly) midnight sun. The sun sets just before 11:00 in the evening, only to begin its ascent again in the wee hours of the morning. In a land where the winters are long and very dark, it is no wonder that celebrations, and even a God or two, have been delegated to give thanks and perhaps curry favor with the fiery powers that be. Summer Solstice, or Sankt Hans Aften (which means the eve of St. John the Baptist Day), is the height of these jubilations, as it celebrates the longest day of the year. Bonfires are lit, and food and drink are plentiful, as the Vikings of yesteryear, and in spirit, party and feast until dawn.

This year we will attempt our own celebration on a nearby beach.  We will light a bonfire and have a picnic dinner as the sun sets.  It is likely that we will forego the authentic tradition of burning an effigy over the fire, as that may not go over too well with the local residents and could quite possibly get us arrested.  (Proper solstice tradition would have a straw witch burned over the fire.  This symbolizes the riddance of problems, worries, and threats from people’s lives.)

Food typically associated with the solstice celebration is simple picnic fare: grilled fish or meat, fresh boiled local crayfish (which can be a party unto itself) and remoulade sauce, potato salad, green salad.  All of this would be accompanied, Viking-style, by beer, shnapps and wine throughout the evening.

Krebs

For dessert, something making use of the fleeting yet prolific Danish strawberry season would be appropriate and always welcome.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Serves 8-10

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small cubes

Mix the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon together in a bowl.  Cut in the butter, and work it with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Refrigerate until use.

For the fruit:
4 large or 6 small rhubarb stalks, washed and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 pounds strawberries, stemmed and cut in half
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Gently toss rhubarb, strawberries and sugar together in a large bowl.
Arrange evenly in a rectangular baking dish.
Cover the fruit with topping.
Bake in oven until rhubarb is tender and the topping is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.