I have happy childhood memories of strawberries. My dad has told me stories about our little family, when I was about four years old, going to strawberry patches in North Carolina and picking berries in the warm sun. Mom liked to freeze quarts of berries for later use, and she’d make batches of strawberry ice cream for dad to freeze in his hand-cranked ice cream freezer, so this is something we did every year when we lived in Charlotte. Dad said that as we picked, I’d put one strawberry in the basket, one in my mouth…one in the basket, one in my mouth….all the way down a row of berry plants, until my lips and cheeks were stained pink from the berries and the sunshine. That doesn’t surprise me! I love strawberries even now, and when washing them and getting them ready for a recipe, I can’t resist popping the most perfectly shaped one into my mouth. They are so juicy-sweet when they are at the peak of the season!
Strawberries are beginning to show up in the produce sections of my grocery stores now. Have you noticed that, too? I recently brought home a quart of them to make something with; I didn’t know what, but something. Then I bought some organic Chilean blueberries when I was at FRESH the other day, and when I got them home, had the revelation to put them together in a dessert. Here is what I settled on:
Jumble Berry Crumble
adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, and butter or Pam-spray a 9×9″ baking dish.
- 1 1/3 cup plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 6 tablespoons Demerara sugar (or substitute brown sugar)
Put the flour and baking powder into a bowl and rub in the cubes of butter with your fingers until you have a mixture like coarse sand. Stir in the sugar. Set aside.
Four cups of sliced strawberries
1 cup whole blueberries
10 teaspoons cornstarch
2/3 cup vanilla sugar or granulated sugar
Place berries in a bowl, and add cornstarch and sugar. Stir until berries are evenly coated.
Place berries in the baking dish. Sprinkle over them the crumble topping.
Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the crumble topping is golden brown and all is bubbly.
This crumble is perfect with vanilla ice cream served alongside it, but I bet you already thought of that. 🙂 Oh, and as a side-note, I made this in ramekins the first time, as you’ll see pictured here. That worked fine, too. I just put about 1/4 cup fruit in each ramekin and a few TBS of crumble topping on top, then baked for 15-20 minutes.
You can also make this simple crumble with frozen fruit. You can easily keep a bag of the crumble topping in a ziploc bag in the freezer, as well as some frozen fruit (fruits can be varied in this, hence the name “jumble”: try blackberries and peaches, for example), and have a quick dessert to put together at the last minute if company drops in or you have a sweets craving!
My boys and I really loved this warm and sweet mouthful of joy when I made it this past weekend. 🙂 I bet you will, too. Give it a try and let me know!