Six weeks after our move, I’m still finding things in random places. Last night, it was 17 sponges wrapped in a plastic Target bag, zipped into a duffel and stuffed into my sweater drawer. I didn’t realize highly absorbent cleaning materials are considered contraband in our house, but apparently, they are.
That’s happening with my blog posts, too. I’m finding all sorts of photos and stories that I stashed on my computer before our move that I haven’t had the opportunity to write about. Therefore, please forgive the bad timing of a post that requires fresh berries that are no longer in season. A few months ago I made two blueberry desserts from the bounty of blueberries that we picked from Champney’s Blueberry Farm in Ravenel, South Carolina. While blueberry pie is our usual staple, I tried making a new kind of blueberry crumble that ended up knocking our socks off.
One of my biggest struggles with any sort of fruit based dessert is getting the texture of the filling right. I loved this recipe because it requires cooking up a little bit of a corn starch slurry to make a “sauce” for the berries to burst and release their juice into. While savory corn starch sauces tend to become gloopy really easily, fresh-picked blueberries have a lot of juice. The corn starch provides the perfect conduit, and the berries emerge from the crumble coated in this sexy, rich sauce, glimmering with blueberry filling that is just right.
Not shockingly, I tried to duplicate this recipe this past weekend with frozen berries (since blueberries are sadly zo, so out of season now), and it failed spectacularly. I can’t actually talk about it too much without cringing, because I whipped out this recipe in hopes that it’d be a crowd pleaser at a neighborhood picnic. The frozen berries, once baked, sat in a sad berry soup, and, without a more solid base to sit on, the bits of crumble sank almost completely into the berries. I still took it to the picnic, but there was a good amount of self-loathing involved.
What, you don’t harbor guilt over your failed berry crumbles? So I’m guessing the cold sweat I woke up in later that night isn’t normal?
- 5 cups fresh blueberries
- ½ cup sugar (or (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- 2 -3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup regular oats
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ cup butter, melted (no substitutes)
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease an 8" square baking dish. Spread the blueberries in the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, cornstarch, water and 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice; cook and stir until thick and clear, then add in ½ teaspoon vanilla.
- Pour over, then gently stir in the cooked mixture with the blueberries.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour with oats, brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Add in the melted butter; mix until crumbly (you may need to use your hands).
- Sprinkle over the top of blueberries.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the blueberry juice bubbles and the topping is brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly (approximately 10-15 minutes).
- Just before serving, pour cold heavy whipping cream into a bowl and beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Stir in sugar and vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- Serve warm with fresh whipped cream on the side.
Inspired by this Food.com recipe
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