Long weekends were designed to celebrate any possible “holiday” man could come up with to skirt away from their workplaces for an extra day. We often celebrate long weekends with social gatherings such as picnics, potlucks, BBQs and kickbacks. You get an extra day to celebrate the sun, enjoy a few cold ones and rendezvous with friends – but you shouldn’t arrive empty-handed.
If you were invited somewhere this weekend, you can get out of bringing that $20 bottle of wine to the party by instead bringing an delicious and easy-to-make fruit crumble or crisp. It’s a great way to use up summer fruits that are still ripe, while you still can.
Summer is the number one season for fruit pickers. Many North American cities are ingredient-rich when it comes to fresh fruit. Where I’m from in British Columbia, we have a wide variety of beautiful stone fruits from the Okanagon, plump blueberries from Delta, and the juiciest sun-drenched blackberries from my home on Galiano Island. The true benefit (maybe the only benefit) to summer coming to a close around these parts is that our apple season begins.
This year alone, our trees have collected hundreds of apples. My mom has been slaving away over a hot stove making jams and jellies to have with pork roasts this coming winter. The simplest and most delicious way to combine seasonal flavors for the final long weekend of summer is an easy crisp.
Not only are crisps and crumbles are a great way to use up summer fruit, but you can also make extra to freeze and enjoy over the winter. Keep in mind, however, that the riper the fruit, the less sugar you need to add. The dish originated from the UK which makes perfect sense given the amount of butter and sugar in it. That being said, it was brought together during the war and rations were necessary. It’s still the perfect way to make a special offering on a shoe string budget, though. The butter makes it rich, the sugar makes it sinful and the oats offer the perfect light crunch on top of the stewed fruit.
The only “special” kitchen tool you need this time is an oven-safe casserole dish measuring 8 x 8 x 2.5 inches (or 2 quarts) and a few easy-to-find (probably in your house already) ingredients.
Ingredients (for the Crisp Topping):
•¾ cup of packed brown sugar
•¾ cup of rolled oats (don’t go for the instant kind. The regular are actually more affordable as well)
•1/3 cup of all purpose flour
•Dash of salt
•6 tbsp of sliced cold butter (I cut mine into cubes to make it spread it more within the mixture
Ingredients for the Fruit Mixture:
•1/3 cup of packed brown sugar
•1/2 lemon, juice
•1 ½ tsp of cornstarch
•Dash of salt
•¼ tsp of vanilla extract
•6 small ripe apples of your choosing, thinly sliced * use 2 regular sized ones if you can’t find smaller ones
•3 cups of blackberries
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Dump all the ingredients for the topping into a bowl and then mix it together for a couple of minutes with your fingers (the best!) into small little crumbly clumps. Stick it in the fridge while you make the filling.
Whisk together the sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, salt and vanilla in a large bowl. Slice the apples. Toss the berries and apples in the mixture so they’re well coated.
Lay your fruit filling down into the bottom of your baking dish.
Sprinkle your crisp topping evenly over the fruit mixture.
Bake that baby for 20-25 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the topping has a golden brown crispy edge.
This recipe is your ultimate and simple excuse to skip bringing the $20 bottle of wine to the party. To top it off, pair it with one of my two favourite local ice creams from “Betterwith” or “Earnest Ice Cream”. Any of your favourites will do!