"He's melting all over himself...Oh my god. Oh my GOD."
Yesterday at four-thirty in the afternoon I decided I wanted to bake. It was 91 degrees.
My reasons for doing that kind of gross thing:
I had some new Buffalo China ramekins
There was no one to physically restrain me from turning on the oven
That's how awesome my brain is, son. That's some Stephen Hawking logic there. I am Doogie Howser right now. My computer has a green screen, I'm 14, and I am smarter than my dad. Let me legally change my name to Clarissa, and then I'll Explain It All.
The ramekins or custard cups, as I like to call them, were the driving force. Two weeks ago I got it into my head that I needed some Buffalo China, either mugs or bowls, something -- My Paper Crane did a post on how her sweet sir bought two mugs from their favorite restaurant for her, for her birthday and it was all it took to drive the tangible longing for that heavy, smooth weight in my hand. I love Buffalo china, warm with liquid or out of the dishwasher, how your hands mold to it.
How you could probably smash a car windshield, and/or pie and cake case with it. Crazy things happen at three in the morning in the parking lot of your local Pie House. I'm just saying.
So I had the vessels, and then Deb over at SmittenKitchen posted about crumbles and it all came together. Her entry is wonderful, at explaining all the good things about these desserts. So why not bake a hot fruit dessert on a 91 degree day? Then I wrapped my entire body in flannel sheets and sat under a heat lamp in the bathroom with all the windows shut. And started a fire in the sink, so I could make some hobo chili.
A few notes:
- I halved the topping recipe, and substituted brown sugar for white sugar, omitting most of the demera sugar called for because I only had one packet of Sugar In The Raw left. Even after piling on the topping, which came together beautifully, I had enough left for another one. Just bag it up and freeze.
- Any fruit will do. Anything. I used a mixture of frozen Wild Blueberries and Raspberries, unsweetened.
- They were really, really lovely. A few dollops of vanilla frozen yogurt, and it all went down so smooth and tart, the crumble not too sweet and the berries still plump.
Deuce Berry Crisp
Adapted from Deb/Nigella Lawson
1 ½ cups frozen whole, unsweetened raspberries
½ cup frozen, unsweetened wild blueberries
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon orange zest
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup AP flour
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
½ stick European-style butter, melted
Dash of ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
Orange zest (optional, I used one "scrape" across the microplane)
Preheat your oven to 350º F. Line a small pan or baking sheet with foil or parchment, and select your baking vessels. My cups hold just around 1 cup.
Mix together the berries, cornstarch (omit the teaspoon if using fresh fruit, or leave it in depending on how cohesive you want your filling to be), orange zest, lemon zest, sugars, vanilla and salt until well combined. Divide berry mixture between each cup. This is it. At this point, you're above the law.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugars, cinnamon and orange zest, if using. Stream the melted butter into the mixture, and using your fingers or a fork, mash together until butter is absorbed and large clumps have formed among the smaller pebbles and dust. Pile as much topping on top of each dish as you like -- In the end, my layers were almost equal. Freeze any extra in a plastic bag, and use soon.
Bake your crisps in/on the lined pan, uncovered, for 1/2 an hour or until the juices are warm and bubbly, and the top is golden brown. Remove and allow to cool for three to five minutes, before serving.
I suggest topping with frozen yogurt or ice cream, and then forgetting to brush your teeth so people think you've been drinking Blueing, like you think you're so cool and living the life of Ramona Quimby, as a twenty-something. And then you can find yourself a Howie, and cut his hair with pinking shears.