Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Blueberry Crisp

Since blueberries are in season for only a very limited time, and out-of-season fresh blueberries cost an arm and a leg, we like to make our blueberry crisp with readily available frozen berries. And besides, using fresh berries in a slow-cooking crisp, where they’ll become pleasantly mushy, is like getting all slicked up to go milk the cows: it doesn’t add anything to the experience, so why do it? Step-by-step photos illustrating how to make this crisp are available at Bakers’ Banter, our King Arthur blog.

6 to 7 cups (24 to 30 ounces) frozen blueberries
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup (1 7/8 ounces) brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) lemon juice
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) butter, melted
1/4 cup (1 ounce) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1 1/4 cups (5 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

To prepare the blueberries: Place the berries in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat them for 4 to 5 minutes, till they're thawed and beginning to warm. Combine the berries with the remaining filling ingredients, and spoon the mixture into a lightly greased 8" round cake pan, 9" pie pan, or 9" round cake pan; if you use an 8" pan, be sure it's at least 2" deep.

To make the topping: Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter and flavors, mixing till coarse crumbs form. Set the topping aside.

Bake the crisp in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 minutes, until the berries are starting to bubble. Remove from the oven, and spread the topping over the berries. Bake for an additional 45 minutes, until berries are bubbling and topping is beginning to brown. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool completely, preferably overnight. If you serve the crisp right away, it'll be very liquid; allowing it to set up overnight lets the berries reabsorb some of their juices. Next day, serve the crisp plain, or à la mode. Heat it briefly (about 30 seconds) in the microwave, if desired, to provide a nice warm bed for the ice cream!
Yield: about 10 servings.

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