I would like to introduce Heidi Adkisson, our new guest blogger at startcooking.com. Heidi, a former Professional Chef, is now the author of a great food blog called Ward Street Bistro. The beginner cook may be a bit intimidated by some of her recipes, but don’t be! Heidi’s very precise, step-by-step photo-tutorials makes everything look really simple. I can’t wait to try her Luxurious Artichoke and Mushroom Lasagna! The Lemon Pepper Potato Salad, made with baked potatoes looks like a real winner. But it’s the Red Pepper and Hazelnut Dip that will really wow your guests! This Berry Fruit Crisp that Heidi has made for us is a perfect startcooking.com recipe. There are no knife skills or tricky procedures needed – just measuring, mixing, assembling, and baking. Thanks for joining us Heidi!
Berry Fruit Crisp
by Heidi Adkisson
In my cook’s toolkit, I have a storehouse of recipes I can put together on a moment’s notice with items I usually have on hand. The recipes include this Berry Fruit Crisp, which is one of my favorites. I’ve made it at home, when visiting family, and when on vacation. The ingredients are simple and it requires only the most basic tools. And, most importantly, it’s delicious!
Here are the ingredients. The key is using frozen berries that are not thawed before baking–they make assembling the crisp a snap.
1) Begin by preheating the oven to 375°F.
2) Measure out 6 cups of mixed frozen berries (2 12-ounce bags) and transfer to a large bowl. I’m using a combination of blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries, but any berry combination will do.
3) To the berries, add 1/4 cup sugar…
…3 tablespoons of flour…
…and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
4) Stir the berry mixture to combine. We’ll let the berries rest while we prepare the topping.
5) Measure out 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick-cooking or instant) and transfer to a medium bowl.
6) Add 3/4 cup flour…
…2/3 cup firmly-packed golden brown sugar…
…1 teaspoon ground cinnamon…
…and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
7) Next, I’ve used a nutmeg grater to grate about 1/4 teaspoon of fresh nutmeg. If you don’t have a nutmeg grater, no worries, just use 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg you can find at the grocery.
8) Add the nutmeg to the other ingredients…
…along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
9) Mix the dry ingredients to combine.
10) Now, we’ll incorporate the butter. Cut in half lengthwise 7 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter.
Give the butter stick a quarter turn and cut in half lengthwise again.
Now, cut the butter crosswise into 1/2″ slices, which will form 1/2″ cubes of butter.
11) Transfer the butter cubes to the bowl with the dry ingredients.
12) Next, is the fun part–and it’s actually quite French. You will work the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingertips. You can also use a pastry blender, but I find working it with your hands (as the French traditionally do in making pastry) gets the job done efficiently. Using just the tips of your fingers help keeps the butter cool.
When the butter is incorporated, the topping will look like this. The texture will be similar to wet sand (forming moist clumps).
13) To assemble the crisp, transfer the berry mixture to a 9″ pie pan.
Sprinkle the topping over the berries.
Don’t worry if the assembled crisp is a bit domed–the frozen berries with shrink down as they cook.
14) Bake in the middle rack of your oven, at 375°F, for about 1 hour. The juices will be bubbly–check the crisp after 40 minutes or so to make sure the juices aren’t bubbling over (if they look like they might, slide a cookie sheet under the pie pan).
15) Cool the crisp for at least 15 minutes before serving.
16) The crisp is delicious warm or at room temperature–plain or with some vanilla ice cream.
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