Archive for the 'dessert' Category

Blackberry-Rhubarb Crumble

blackberry crumble 3 585x829 Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble

We’re still out in Tofino, where I’ve settled into a routine of walking into town for coffee, then quickly emptying my cup in order to fill it with the first ripe blackberries of the season. Usually we miss the boat, blackberry-wise, but they seem to be starting earlier this year, a handful on each bush ripening far before their siblings.

blackberry Collage Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble

I love this design feature – the berries ripen in a staggered schedule, even on the same branch, doling out a few juicy berries a day to keep you going through August. When the first truly black berries arrived, I quickly picked enough to make jam; these days I manage a cup or two full, depending on my perseverance – enough for a batch of scones or a galette.

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My dad always requests a crumble, which is easily obliged; every summer I toss berries and stone fruits and rhubarb in pie plates or baking dishes with sugar and a spoonful of flour, then rub together roughly equal quantities of butter, brown sugar, flour and oats – and sometimes a few sliced almonds or chopped pecans – to scatter overtop and bake until it’s bubbly around the edges and crunchy on top. There is no pressure for it to set, or to slice out cleanly; it’s intended for spooning, regardless of how stiff or juicy it is. A crumble (or crisp, whatever you like to call it) is a forgiving summer dessert.

blackberry crumble 4 Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble

The amount of sugar you use will depend on the fruit and your taste – I like things tart, but blackberries and rhubarb do need a little help. I tossed a pie plate full with about 1/3 cup sugar and a spoonful (1-2 Tbsp.) flour. For the crumble, rub 1/3-1/2 cup each soft butter, brown sugar, flour and oats (if you like – otherwise use twice as much flour as butter and brown sugar) along with a pinch of salt and a shake of cinnamon, if you have it. Sprinkle over the fruit, squeezing it as you go to create larger clumps. You can eyeball it – just make sure you wind up with a mixture that’s crumbly, but holds together when you squeeze some in your hand.

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If you have a food processor, blitz it all for a finer texture – nuts are good, too.

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Bake at 350F, not worrying if you’re in a rental with a wonky oven, until it’s bubbly and golden, which should take around 45 minutes. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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August 08 2014 | dessert | 3 Comments »

Honey Balsamic Roasted Cherries

Screen Shot 2014 07 28 at 6.58.23 PM 585x582 Honey Balsamic Roasted Cherries

Just when I thought straight-up cherries by the handful couldn’t be improved upon.

cherries Honey Balsamic Roasted Cherries

Applying heat to just about anything – but particularly juicy fruit – makes it better.

roasted cherries 4 Honey Balsamic Roasted Cherries

You can roast cherries, of course. They get along well with balsamic vinegar, and a sprig or two of fresh rosemary, and a good grinding of black pepper. And the heat of the oven until the slump over and into each other, and give up their juices, which then caramelize on the parchment papered-pan.

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The whole thing takes about fifteen minutes, and then you can pour the warm cherries and their tangy juices over a log of soft goat cheese and bring it out onto the deck with a bottle of wine. Yes?

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Or cool them down and spoon them over thick yogurt and granola in the morning with your coffee. Either way. I imagine the combo would also do well over ice cream, or whirled into a milkshake.

roasted cherries 11 Honey Balsamic Roasted Cherries

Honey Balsamic Roasted Cherries

fresh cherries, pitted
balsamic vinegar
extra-virgin olive oil
a sprig of fresh rosemary (optional)
freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400F. Spread the cherries out in a single layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Whisk together equal amounts of honey and balsamic vinegar with about half as much oil (about 1/4 cup honey and balsamic and 2 Tbsp. oil for 1 L cherries) and pour over the cherries. Add a sprig of rosemary, if you like, and toss to coat. Grind over a bit of black pepper.

Roast for 10-20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the cherries soften and release their juices and everything gets dark and sticky. Serve warm, over ice cream or a soft log of goat cheese, on a cheese board or good bread, or over thick plain yogurt and granola.

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July 29 2014 | dessert and preserves | 13 Comments »

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