Sometimes there are those desserts that are so darn simple but that just knock your socks off. They are a snap to put together, but when served, each bite has layers of flavors that dance together to enchant the taste buds and gratify the soul.
Berry Crisp. Cherry Crumble. Call it this or call it that. However you label it, the aromas of this dessert baking in the oven could make our country's leaders forget their squabbling and squealing about issues that would be melted and melded with every passing bite.
I made this berry deliciousness while visiting with my cousin and her little girls. While they were napping we tucked ourselves in at the kitchen table and enjoyed this dish warm out of the oven. I believe we had been discussing the need to eat less sweets and more veggies a few moments before the aromas filled the kitchen with cinnamon, butter, cherries, and brown sugar.
You might say the dietary prattle literally fluttered out the window as the cinnamon-y scents wafted to the table.
I knew my family would love this simple summer dessert so the next weekend I made another berry crumble for our Sunday dinner. The simmering and bubbling of the fruit juices release aromas that could gladden any sad heart, delight any lazy afternoon, and sing the praises of summer's bountiful fruits.
This is also a fitting dessert to usher us into thoughts of seasonal change. Fall is around the corner and that just makes my heart sing. Fall is my favorite season of the year.
Houston is actually a delightful part of the country during Fall, for beginning in late September until February, the temperatures remain fall-like for months. Fun hats and scarves can be worn with cozy sweaters without having to cover it all up with huge winter coats. I can shake hands with Texas' summer and wish it adieu any day!
I already have a line-up of fall dishes that I am ticking off my list of "must-dos". I need to gear up for my annual pots of gumbo. The kids have mentioned my pastry covered guinness beef stew. Oh, and our yearly ginger cookies cut into the shapes of fall leaves. Our neighbor just had a baby girl so we'll have to bring over plate of those cookies to celebrate their little fall addition.
I long for open windows, cool nights, and cups of hot coffee while watching the beautiful Texas sunsets.
Our adorable and playful kitty Polly goes nutty when the windows open as she dances from one window to another pretending to stalk the birds, who toy with her, knowing they are safe behind walls.
This will be the first fall season of being a food blogger so I eagerly await all of the seasonal recipes and photos that will usher in this cozy and joyous of seasons as Texans breathe in the cool crisp air and move outdoors after a hot and stifling summer.
Cherry Berry Crumble:
3/4 cup (100 g) light muscovado sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup (60 g) almond meal
1/2 cup (50 g) quick cooking rolled oats
1 stick (1/2 cup; 113 g) unsalted butter, diced
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out
(Snippets Notes: many people like to add chopped nuts to the topping.)
For the fruit:
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cup (150 g) blueberries
1 1/2 cup (150 g) cherries (or any fruit you like)
To make the crumble: In a bowl, combine the sugar, flours, almond meal, oats and vanilla seeds and rub in the butter until crumbles form. Set aside.
Butter a baking dish and preheat the oven to 375˚ F.
In another bowl, combine the berries, apricots, cornstarch and sugar. Let rest for 20 minutes.
Pour the fruit inside the dish and cover with the crumble. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the fruit bubbles and the crumble is golden brown in color. Serve lukewarm with plain yogurt or vanilla ice cream on the side.