I’m starting to realize this blog may as well be the fan page of Smitten Kitchen, where I make all of her food and gush about it on a regular basis. The hardest part? Her recipes are so good I barely ever have to adapt them. They are so perfect I feel like I must post them here and then I’m just regurgitating her amazingness when you should probably just head over to her blog and see for yourself. Continue reading
Blackberry season is hands down one of my favorite times of the year. Around here, you pretty much walk outside and it’s free berries EVERYWHERE! It’s hard not to get a little giddy when you think of how much a bucket o’ berries would cost you from the store or farmers market.Nothing feels more like summer to me than picking blackberries. It’s almost always August, it’s HOT out, but at the same time you know summer is coming to a close, and you have to relish in the last few weeks. My blackberry picking love is hard to explain, but it really is one of my favorite things. Continue reading
Crumbles…Cobblers…Crisps? Aren’t they all the same thing? All I know is they are all delish. However, I haven’t made many in my life, they are one of those easy things that I always blow off and instead I go make some *new* or *trendy* thing…which never turns out as good as one of the classics. Stick with the classics people! They are still around for a reason!So the lovely Lulu found this amazing guide on The Kitchn and I just have to share the whole thing here. It really lends itself to “wingin it” and just going for it. We made a blackberry, blueberry, and nectarine crisp going off of this guide. It’s probably the best thing I have eaten all summer long.
How to Make a Fruit Crumble, Cobbler, or Crisp
from The Kitchn
Makes one 8″x8″ square pan, 9″ pie pan, or use individual ramekins
For the filling:
6 – 7 cups fruit, enough to almost fill pan
1/2 – 1 cup sugar, to taste
1-3 teaspoons lemon juice, to taste
1-3 tablespoons cornstarch, depending on juiciness of fruit
1 teaspoon spice, like cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg (optional)
For the crumble topping:
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (4 ounces) brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
ICE CREAM FOR TOPPING!!!
Heat oven to 375°F.
1. Prepare the Fruit Filling: If necessary, dice the fruit into bite-sized pieces. Toss the fruit with sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and any spices. Use more sugar and less lemon juice when cooking with tart fruits like rhubarb and blackberries, and less sugar but more lemon juice for sweet fruits like peaches and plums. Best is to taste a piece of fruit and adjust to taste. Use more cornstarch with very juicy fruits like plums and less with firm fruits like apples. But don’t worry; no matter your ratio of these ingredients, your crumble will be delicious.
Pour the fruit filling into the baking dish.
2. Prepare the Crumble Topping: Thoroughly mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt for the crumble topping. Break the butter into a few large pieces and toss these in the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, a fork, or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the dry ingredients until large heavy crumbs are formed.
3. Top the Fruit Filling: Pour the crumble topping evenly over the fruit.
4. Bake the Crumble: Bake the crumble for 30-35 minutes until the fruit juices are bubbling around the edges of the pan and the topping is firm to the touch.
5. Cool and Store the Crumble: Let the crumble cool for at least 15 minutes before eating. If transporting to a picnic or party, let the crumble cool completely to give the fruit filling time to set. Crumbles will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to a week. Serve cold, room temperature, or re-warmed in a low oven for 20 minutes.
• Using a 9″x13″ Pan: Increase the fruit to 10-11 cups, adjusting the other filling ingredients to match. Increase all the crumble topping ingredients by half (1 1/2 cups flour, etc.), except for the baking powder.
• To Make a Crisp: Add 1/2 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats or 1/2 cup chopped nuts (or both) to the topping.
• To Make a Cobbler: Press the crumbs into biscuit-sized patties and arrange them in a single layer over the fruit.
• Flour Substitutions: Try subbing another flour for all or some of the AP flour in this recipe. Almond flour, spelt flour, and barley flour would all make delicious crumbles and cobblers.
• Sugar Substitutions: Swap the brown sugar for white sugar for a lighter flavor, especially for cobblers. Feel free to experiment with other sugars in your cupboard as well.
Wild Blackberry season…I have so many memories associated with you. Sometimes it seems like Summer hasn’t officially started until the Blackberries are ripe…that is how you know it has finally gotten warm enough in the Northwest. At the same time, you get the feeling that summer will soon come to an end, as usually the blackberries don’t get juicy and ripe until mid-August. But then again, summer usually begins in July and ends in August ’round these parts…
Luckily, I found one of the best possible ways to use freshly picked blackberries – these insanely good Blackberry Pie Bars. I made these last Friday night at about 9PM, exhausted from the work week, half asleep…but I was determined to bring them to a party the next day. Thank God I soldiered on.
These are easy enough to make while half asleep, but they taste like something out of a homey bakery you randomly found on the side of the road. I can’t wait to make these again and again…Or at least every summer when Blackberry season rolls around.
I will always have a feeling associated with blackberry picking, an emotion you can’t quite put your finger on, maybe because it’s a mix of many things. Many stories, childhood memories, brambly bushes…but these bars will implant a very clear feeling: deliciousness.
Blackberry Pie Bars
From Joy the Baker
Crust and Topping
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- zest of two lemons
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 2 (16-ounce) packages frozen blackberries, defrosted and drained
(You can also use 6 cups of fresh blackberries, or 1 (16-ounce) package frozen blackberries and 3 cups of fresh blackberries)
To make the crust and topping-
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch backing pan with butter or cooking spray and set aside. Zest two lemons. Measure out the sugar onto a clean work surface. Rub the lemon zest into the sugar with a bench scraper or the back of a spoon. Rubbing the zest into the sugar will release oils from the zest and create a lemon scented sugar.
Combine lemon sugar, flour, salt and butter in an electric mixer fit with a paddle attachment. Beat the ingredients on medium speed until the mixture looks dry and crumbly.
Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the crust mixture to use as the topping. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for 12 to 15 minutes until it is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes while you make the filling.
To make the filling-
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the sugar, sour cream, flour and salt. Gently fold in the blackberries. Spoon the mixture evenly over the crust. You may have to distribute the blackberries evenly around.
Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly over the filling. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Cool for 1 hour before slicing.
**If you’re using frozen berries, be sure to defrost and drain the excess liquid. Place the frozen berries on a plate in the refrigerator overnight. They’re defrosted and ready for bar baking!