I have a big confession to make. I am a food hoarder. This past weekend could have put me in a mental hospital. First, Whole Foods tweeted that cherries were on sale for $1.99/lb for one day only. Ok, so I'll stop by WF after work and pick up what, maybe 20 lbs? Ok, ten. Then, I opened up the Publix ad and found that Blueberries were 2/$3, raspberries were 2/$4 and blackberries were 2/$5. Plus, I had coupons for $1.50/1 carton of berries. That's FREE blueberries. Fifty cent raspberries! One dollar for a large carton of blackberries! And it was a store coupon, so I could print it as many times as I wanted and go back to Publix over and over and over. Then I discovered that it was pickin' time at the local blueberry farms. Let me take you back to last summer's blueberry picking...12 lbs. in an hour. Like I said, I have a problem.
See, when you know your absolute most favorite foods are super cheap with the smallest carbon footprint of the year (cause of course, you can still buy raspberries in January, but they're shipped halfway around the world and cost a fortune), you MUST stock up.
So that is what I did. I went to Whole Foods, bought 12 lbs of cherries, and then fought with myself to not go back an hour later and get more. I compulsively printed coupons and stopped by Publix every time I left the house. And now I have pounds and pounds of berries and cherries. I'll probably eat about half of them in their true form, maybe 1/4 will go in oatmeal or yogurt, but I also wanted to do a tiny bit of baking. I have to admit, frozen berries are almost as good as fresh in baking, but fresh just always wins out.
So I decided for dessert to make something that was going to let the fresh, juicy berry shine. I thought a simple crumble with a vanilla bean ice cream would do just that. To make the crumble healthier, I used a bit of butter, but then mixed in applesauce, which worked perfectly. Simple, healthy, summer.
I apologize for the sub-par photos, they don't do the crumble justice. However, I simply could not wait to eat it. Also, I would probably double the crumble mixture next time, I wanted it to be thin and light, but it was so delicious I wish I had made more.
Summer Berry Crumble
(serves 4 normal people, I could eat the whole pan)
1 lb. cherries, pitted and halved
1 pint of blueberries
1 pint of blackberries
1/2 pint raspberries
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. white whole wheat flour
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. butter, cold
1/4 c. unsweetened apple sauce
1 pint vanilla bean ice cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 325*
In a mixing bowl, toss together berries, sugar, cornstarch, almond extract and a pinch of salt.
Pour into a baking dish.
In a small bowl, mix together oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and baking powder.
Use a fork or pastry cutter and cut in butter.
Add applesauce and stir to combine.
Use fingers to crumble mixture on top of berries evenly in small blobs.
Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
*To pit my cherries, I use a straw, you can see photos here. Maybe one day I'll get a real cherry pitter! http://ashleescooking.blogspot.com/2008/07/cherry-rhubarb-cobbler.html