Last week, I bought a carton of blackberries at Trader Joe's and surprisingly, they haven't been eaten yet. I pulled them out of the fridge and picked through to find the ones that were still good. There weren't many. This is the point at which my quest for a recipe started. I could've easily made a Crumble or a Pie, but there wasn't enough berries. Besides, my friend, JulieK makes the BEST Blackberry Pie and I couldn't possibly compete with her! I thought I would make a simple sauce and serve it over ice cream, but my kids really like to stick with the chocolate on ice cream.
I even went to epicurious.com to look—the fountain of many recipes! I searched "blackberry coulis", "blackberry sauce", "blackberry dessert", "buttermilk cake" – uhh, where did that last one come from?! Many recipes came up and they all sounded really good, even the Baked Ribs with Spicy Blackberry Sauce! I almost settled on a Panna Cotta because I really want to try that sometime, but the reviews written made me think I needed to find a better recipe. Maybe Giada has one. Actually, the buttermilk cake search came back with a recipe for Buttermilk Cake with Blackberries & Beaumes-de-Venise—I think I'll be trying that one sometime this summer! But for TODAY!? Hmmm…
Still not inspired, I turned to my Cookbook Cabinet. I have 'just a few' cookbooks and put the ones that I use more often in this cabinet.
I thought for sure Jacques Pepin would have something for me in his Fast Food My Way book, but he left me disappointed for once. I checked Anne Willan's My Chateau Kitchen and –nothing. Don't they eat blackberries in France? I thought they did! Then my eyes landed on Washington State Bed & Breakfast Cookbook, given to me by Austin, one of the cuties that was in my 1st grade class five years ago. Now I KNOW we eat blackberries up here! They grow wild along the roads, people stop their cars to pick some on the way home, and primitive signs advertising permanent removal of such overgrowing vines can be seen tacked to electric poles. There's GOT to be a good recipe in here. . . . Index. . . b, bl, bla . . . . BLACKBERRIES! Bingo! There's a recipe for Salmon with Blackberry Sauce. We just had Salmon on Sunday, but I look up the recipe anyway. Yum. Mental note: try it sometime—along with the Ribs! Blackberry Sauce—Aha! Maybe just what I want. . . Not so much: it turned out to be Black BEAN Sauce! Funny. Blackberry-Apple Crumble is the last recipe listed. Ok, alright already! I'll make the Crumble! Still don't have enough berries, but I'll pull out the bag of frozen mixed berries I have in the freezer and add them to the pot.
(as printed in the cookbook—not as created by me! Revisions below. . . )
The original recipe comes from The Manor Farm Inn in Poulsbo, WA. (I tried to hyperlink the Inn, but it then 'hyperlinked' the rest of my post! Their website is the name of the inn minus the "the".com.)
Served warm with ice cream—a real winner!
- 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
- 1 lb. fresh blackberries or 1 (16-oz.) bag of frozen
- ½ c. sugar
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1 ½ c. flour
- 1 ½ c. brown sugar
- ¾ c. rolled oats
- 1 ½ sticks (3/4 c. ) melted butter
Preheat oven to 350˚ F. coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place apples in bottom of dish, then top with blackberries.
In a small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over blackberries and apples. In a large bowl, mix together all topping ingredients. Crumble over fruit. Bake for 60 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
As usual, I always (falsely) think I have every ingredient known to man in my kitchen. Reality sets in for me with the first ingredient. No Granny Smiths, but plenty of Galas!
So that's what's in my Crumble. A little sweeter, a little juicier, but it'll still be good.
I used about ½ fresh blackberries and ½ frozen Mixed Berries. I also reduced the sugar on the fruit because of the apples being sweeter. Let's hope I don't regret that! Also, I didn't use a regular 9 x 13—that would've been too boring! I used a gorgeous Portuguese pottery casserole dish.
Now for the topping. . . when I read 1 ½ c. flour, I immediately thought that would be too much and I could totally taste this with the topping that I use for Sweet Potato Casserole, adding a bit of oats to it. So I reduced the flour to about ½ cup, used about ¾ c. oats, and only 1 stick of butter. The brown sugar was a problem. I didn't have any. My fellow-baker-co-inhabitants have used it all and didn't put it on the grocery list. I couldn't go borrow it from Lori, because even though she says I can borrow anything, anytime, her husband (story in 3rd ¶ of link) teases me unmercifully every time I do! Necessity is the mother of invention (my mom always said that!) and my brain kicks into gear. It remembers that white sugar is just refined from brown, so all I had to do was add BACK in the by-product of refining! Molasses! I'm a genius and an inventor. So I used white sugar and about 1 ½ - 2 T. molasses. We'll see if I've achieved success when we eat it!
Lessons: Search till you find a solution. Be resourceful. Eat dessert.