Ruth Reichl’s blueberry crisp

March 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s back in the 40’s here in Ithaca (darn you Mother Nature!), but I’m protesting the cold weather and making spring-ish desserts. Using this simple, easy recipe from Ruth Reichl on GiltTaste, I was able to pull a bubbling, heavenly-smelling blueberry crisp out of the oven within an hour with minimal mess and effort.

I only had regular frozen blueberries, which I defrosted and drained before using for the crisp. Other small modifications: mixing the blueberries with a teaspoon of cornstarch to better soak up and thicken the juices, adding a few drops of good vanilla extract to the topping, along with a handful of old-fashioned oats and flaxmeal. This recipe would probably work equally well with strawberries, raspberries, even apples. It’s a great dessert to pull together when you’re in a tight spot, since you’re bound to have most of the ingredients in your pantry already. Slivered almonds would be an awesome addition as well.

Good vanilla ice cream with this dessert is a must. I can’t wait to eat leftovers tomorrow for breakfast.

Blueberry crisp

1 stick butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups brown or white sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 handful old-fashioned rolled oats (optional)
1 tablespoon flaxmeal (optional)
4 cups of frozen blueberries, defrosted and drained
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)

Preheat the oven at 375. Combine melted butter and sugar, and stir in the sugar. Add salt and cinnamon and mix. Slowly incorporate the flour, until you have a dry and crumbly mixture. Mix in oats and flaxmeal if using.

Pour the mixed cornstarch and blueberries into a well-buttered pie plate (I actually used a loaf pan) and sprinkle the crisp topping over the blueberries. Use all of it, even if it seems a little excessive. This topping is that good. Bake for 45 minutes or until the topping is nice and golden. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Butter and blueberries: a sign of spring?

April 25, 2011 § 2 Comments

I saw this on Smitten Kitchen a while back and decided that I had to try it for the name alone. Plus, the sun finally came out this weekend, blessing us with 60 degree weather, and I thought a blueberry dessert would be perfect. And since my parents came to visit this weekend, they were able to bring some home for my sisters, meaning I wouldn’t end up eating the entire pan by myself (though I would have no difficulty in doing so, trust me).

Folding blueberries into the batter

Cooling in the pan

I was surprised by the lightness of the cake. For some reason, I imagined it would be a really heavy, dense dessert but this would be a perfect, crumbly, buttery accompaniment with Earl Grey tea for an indulgent afternoon snack, which is exactly what I’m having as I type this in the law school carrels.

Perfect with Earl Grey

Blueberry Boy Bait (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Serves 16, generously

For the cake:

2 cups plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (Don’t defrost if they’re frozen, otherwise they’ll get mushy)

For the topping:

3/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (don’t defrost)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the cake:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking pan.

Whisk two cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract and then the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated and scrape down the sides. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then add half of the buttermilk.  Then beat in the remaining half of the flour mixture and the remaining half of the buttermilk. Toss the blueberries in the leftover tablespoon of flour until they are fully coated and then fold gently into the batter with a rubber spatula. Spread batter into the baking pan.

For the topping:

Scatter the blueberries on top of the batter. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Cool in pan for another 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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