Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Black and Blue Berry Crisp

Well, it's over.
Graduation weekend came and went in a flurry of activity and far too much food. We had multiple BBQs some with family some without and I'm pretty sure I haven't cooked a proper meal in almost two weeks. I also can't remember the last time I ate anything leafy, healthy or salad-like. Instead I seem to have replaced my usual vegetable intake with large quantities of dessert. 

At least this one has fruit in it.

This crisp actually started out as strawberry-rhubarb pie, but it seems as though rhubarb is everywhere except Binghamton right now. That's okay because this was a lot less work and turned out to be quite popular at the BBQ I brought it to. In fact, I also made mini cannolis and a raspberry custard tart but the recipe most people asked for was this crisp. It's funny how different people can have such different opinions; personally I thought this was just okay, if not a bit boring, but I received so many compliments that eventually I promised to post the recipe. 

The top is similar to granola in flavor but I think part of my issue with it was the lack of crunch. I wanted crisp and flaky but instead it was softer and crumbly. Don't get me wrong it's good the way it is, but if you are after a crunchier result like I am, try replacing half of the flour with more oats. I can't promise that will solve it but that would be my next step. It probably wouldn't hurt to bake it a bit longer as well.
Black and Blue Berry Crisp
Taste your berries, if they are particularly tart toss them with a tablespoon of sugar. Mine were pretty sweet and I like them on the tart side anyway so I didn't bother.
You could easily leave the nuts out if you don't like them but I highly recommend keeping them. I used sucanat because it's what I had at home but I think dark muscovado sugar would work the best. If you don't have either of those you could easily replace it with dark brown sugar. I served it with fresh whipped cream because there was no freezer to store ice  cream. Either is delicious but we all know I prefer ice cream any day. If you serve it warm, you could also serve a pitcher of cold cream along side to drizzle over the top. 
If you plan to add the coconut, as I suggested in the body of this post, toss it together with all the dry ingredients - I would suggest about a 1/2 cup. Serves 12.

9 cups blackberries
5 cups blueberries
scant 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour

2/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
2/3 cups slice almonds
1 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup sucanat or muscovado sugar
3 tablespoons raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Toast the nuts for 6 minutes, let cool and then chop course.
Mix the chopped nuts, oats, flour, both sugars, cinnamon, and salt.

Using a pastry blender, your fingers or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, work the butter in just until the mixture comes together in a crumbly texture. Keep chilled until ready to use. You could even make it ahead and store it in the fridge (up to a week) or freezer (up to 2 months).

When ready to bake the crisp, butter  (or spray with olive oil) a 9x13x2in baking dish and set aside. Toss the berries with 2 tablespoons flour and 1 tablespoon sugar if using. Pour into baking dish and spread out evenly. Cover with crumb topping and bake 50-60 minutes or until crisp is golden and fruit is bubbling. Best if served warm but still delicious at room temperature. You could also make the whole thing the morning you wish to serve it and reheat it in the oven right before serving. 

Of course, being the rowing obsessed bunch that we are; the BBQ took place at our boathouse, where we taught our families to row. To see more pictures from the weekend click here.


  1. I just posted a crisp too, with Rhubarb (sorry you can't find it! eeek! Why?)

    And congratulations on graduation (wow, that's LOTS of syllables) and the rowing party sure looked like fun. That's something I've always wanted to try. Had a roomie in college who'd been a rower in a previous life. But that was, whoa, like a lifetime ago.

    And so, with graduation begs the obvious question.... what next? (and sorry if you've heard it so much you want to scream)

  2. Thanks!
    I don't know why I can't find rhubarb either, the store was overflowing with it the week before. Oh well, I'm back on Long Island now, maybe they have it down here. (I hope so because you're crisp looks delicious and I really want to make it!).

    You really should try rowing! It's so much fun and I bet if you look around a bit you'll find a summer learn to row program...I know we have one. They are pretty common and usually just a couple days long. Although, with the new job that may not be feasible huh?

    ah yes, the what next question. You've actually inspired me to make a post about this (next) but I will be traveling in june and then back to New York to Lifeguard and look for a real job....and hopefully move ASAP haha


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