Tuesday, June 18, 2013

strawberry & blueberry crisp...red or green? style

i think crisps (and crumbles...never really sure the difference) are my favorite summer dessert.  sure, they taste delicious...but they are also incredibly easy...and fast...and versatile.  just what i want when it is hot outside and the pool or river is calling. just what i want when i am staring at mounds of beautiful stone fruit and berries...and i don't want to take the time to make pies...or cakes...or tarts...or anything tricky.
crisps involve putting the fruit in a dish, adding a topping of oats, flour, sugar, spices and a fat...stirring all together, mounding on the fruit, baking and viola! warm, yummy, fruity, crunchy...and the perfect base for ice cream, or whipping cream, or frankly just as is.

most crisps call for butter. but i use extra virgin olive oil. i like the taste and texture the oil gives the topping. and, perhaps i am just faking myself out, but the health benefits of the olive oil make me feel less guilty about eating dessert...especially if you saw the serving size i take. ( it is fruit, people,...fruit!) i also use stone ground white whole wheat flour and coconut sugar.  eliminating the white flour and sugar is better for you and still tastes delicious.
this recipe calls for cracked black pepper which may seem unusual...but please don't skip it. it adds a subtle flavor that works really well with the fruit and provides a tiny bit of heat (this is the red or green? blog after all)!  no one will know what it is...they will just love the overall taste.

strawberry & blueberry crisp
(serves 4-6)...4 in my house1/2 cup organic rolled oats (not quick cooking kind)
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour*
4 tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
pinch sea salt
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cups fruit (i used a mixture of strawberries and blueberries for this one)
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tbsp tapioca
finely grated rind from one small orange
fresh mint for garnish
homemade or best quality vanilla ice cream (if desired) or whipping cream, or serve with a pitcher of heavy cream

preheat oven to 375 degrees F
for topping: combine first 9 ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a fork. add the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, mixing with the fork to incorporate the oil. when all oil has been added the mixture should look moist and a bit crumbly. set aside.

for filling: slice the strawberries in half and add to another small bowl. stem the blueberries if needed and add to the same bowl. add the sugar, flour and orange peel and gently stir.

assemble: add the fruit mixture to a small baking dish 8 inches in diameter. sprinkle the topping over the fruit ensuring all fruit is covered. bake in preheated oven 30 minutes, or until topping has browned and fruit juices are bubbling. remove from oven and let crisp cool down to "just warm" status. ** this is important...you will be tempted to eat right away, but you need to let the juices thicken a bit which happens during the cooling off period. otherwise the juices will run.**
serve warm or at room temperature topped with the ice cream and mint. also delicious the next morning for breakfast if you have any left.
** i love unbleached white whole wheat flour, whole wheat which has been milled from the lightest wheat kernels...so light they are almost white. contains all the fiber and nutrients of regular whole wheat but lighter in color and taste. note...this is not white flour...the color is light brown when baked. i like the king arthur brand**

this recipe serves 4 but is easily doubled or tripled for larger gatherings. i use rectangular glass, stoneware or clay baking dishes and casseroles for larger crisps.
it is "berries" week at food network's summerfest roundup. check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends. have a favorite berry recipe?  share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one:

Feed Me Phoebe: Gluten-Free Blueberry-Almond Pancakes
The Lemon Bowl: Strawberry Mango Chia Smoothie
Dishin & Dishes: Crunchy Topped Blueberry White Chocolate Muffins
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Gingered Blueberry Shortcakes With Light Creamy Topping
Taste With The Eyes: Blueberry Limoncello Pavlova
Sweet Life Bake: Paletas de Fresca y Aguacate
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Mixed Berry Tea Cake 
Red or Green?: Strawberry & Blueberry Crisp (Red or Green-style)
Virtually Homemade: Blueberry Mint Margaritas
Haute Apple Pie: Triple Berry Ice Cream
Pinch My Salt: Strawberry Peach Cobbler With Almond Biscuit Topping
Cooking With Elise: Dehydrating Blueberries, Plus Blueberry and White Chocolate Cookies
Devour: Four Healthy Berry Recipes
Domesticate Me: Summer Berry Crisp
Weelicious: Brainy Breakfast
The Sensitive Epicure: Strawberries With White Balsamic Vinegar Caramel, Orange Zest and Black Pepper
Daily*Dishin: Fresh and Easy Blueberry Pie
From My Corner of Saratoga: Mixed Berry Freezer Pops
FN Dish: Wake Up With Berries

happy summer everyone!
my best,
california girl in taos

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