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.

blackberry crumble 5 Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble

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.

blackberry crumble 6 Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble

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

blackberry crumble 1 Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble

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.

button print gry20 Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble

August 08 2014 | dessert | 3 Comments »

Browned Butter Cherry & Apricot Slump

Cherry Apricot Browned Butter Bliss 1 Browned Butter Cherry & Apricot Slump

As you may have seen on twitter, we’ve slumped into Tofino for some beach time, family time, book reading and kayaking and eating. I’ve mostly stayed out of the kitchen, although having one here – one that looks out over the water, even – has meant getting my baking fix before we head back to the gutted room that will hopefully be our kitchen once again before the snow flies.

Cherry apricot collage Browned Butter Cherry & Apricot Slump

There are apricots and cherries in the wee one-room Beaches grocery, and I can never resist baking them into something. With browned butter, if possible.

browned butter 2 Browned Butter Cherry & Apricot Slump

This isn’t quite a cake, but it’s not a crumble, either… it most closely resembles a slump – thick batter poured over fruit of any kind, then baked. It’s just enough to hold it together, and the cake part is more sugary-buttery than cakey. You could manage wedges, but it’s more of a spoon dessert, served warm with vanilla ice cream if you can swing it. Or for breakfast with yogurt, natch.

Cherry Apricot Browned Butter Bliss 4 Browned Butter Cherry & Apricot Slump

It’s one of those things you can mix up from scratch and use whatever happens to be within reach – on the counter, at the market, on the bushes out back. (I’ll be making another with blackberries soon. And peaches, maybe? Definitely plums.)

Cherry Apricot Browned Butter Bliss 3 Browned Butter Cherry & Apricot Slump

And there is no better way to warm up, slumping into a cozy couch, after coming in from a chilly, windy afternoon at the beach.

Cherry Apricot Browned Butter Bliss 2 Browned Butter Cherry & Apricot Slump

Browned Butter Cherry & Apricot Slump

6 apricots, pitted and thickly sliced
1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
3/4 cup + 3 Tbsp. sugar (or to taste, according to the sweetness of the fruit)
pinch cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a pie plate.

Toss the apricots and cherries in the pie plate with about 2 Tbsp. sugar and the cinnamon; spread into the plate. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and keep cooking it, swirling the pan occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until it turns golden. Pour into a bowl.

Stir the 3/4 cup of sugar into the butter, then the eggs, then the flour. Pour over the fruit and sprinkle with the last tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden and crusty, and the juices are bubbling around the edges. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or thick vanilla yogurt.

Serves 8.

pixel Browned Butter Cherry & Apricot Slump
button print gry20 Browned Butter Cherry & Apricot Slump

August 05 2014 | breakfast and cake | 5 Comments »

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