OH MAN IT IS STRAWBERRY TIME! There is nothing like the beginning of strawberry season, my favorite time of year, when these red joyous fruits come out in their full splendor, bursting with flavor. There is nothing like a fresh ripe strawberry, radically different from it’s tasteless sibling, the out of season supermarket variety.
I bought my first strawberries last week at the farmers market, after one week of browsing but holding back when they first popped up last Saturday, and then only after sampling from several vendors this week (you can’t just settle on the first ones you see). I ended up with the beauties that are in this crumble recipe.
Can you over do it on strawberries? I think not. In the next few weeks I will be making crumbles, tarts, cakes and jam with these guys, fully taking advantage of their shining moment. Most of all I’ll just eat them copiously in my favorite preparation: strawberries with a little bit of brown sugar and cream.
One of the most delicious ways to use some extra strawberries is as the co-starring role in the ever versatile Crumble, which features most any fruit you want to use nestled under a most excellent topping of flour, oats, butter and brown sugar.
After recently re-reading Barbara Kingsolver’s year long family adventure “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” about eating locally from her own farm and neighborhood, I decided to try out her crumble recipe, which boasted a short list of ingredients, all of which I had in the kitchen when I decided to make this on a whim. In her version, the fruit is sweetened with honey- a preparation I was eager to try with my very tasty Alfalfa honey from Eggman Family Farm. If you haven’t had a chance to read her inquisitive, informative and very entertaining book, I’d definitely pick it up at the library.
This dish is perfect for a summer evening, a picnic, and especially to share with friends.
adapted from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
serves 4 (or two really big servings….)
1 quart strawberries, halved*
1/4 cup honey
For the topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup butter
1. Heat the oven to 350° F.
2. Prepare filling: Mix the halved strawberries and the honey in an 8×8 ungreased pan, (or a 9 inch deep pie plate), and set aside.
3. Prepare topping: Mix all the ingredients with your fingers until crumbly, sprinkle over fruit mixture and bake at 350° for about 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and the fruit is bubbling out everywhere.
4. Serve warm, with a dollop of ice cream, or a little bit of cream. It tastes wonderful after dinner or lunch for dessert, but equally good reheated in the morning as breakfast.
**Don’t have strawberries? This tastes great with peaches, apples, pears, berries, or in combination of any of these. You can also add some more fruit if you have any on hand – a cup or two more fruit won’t ruin the recipe.