Amazing Boysenberry Crumble Recipe

Amazing Boysenberry Crumble Recipe


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You bought the steaks, chicken, hamburgers or hot dogs. You've stocked up on charcoal or a freshly filled propane tank. You were sure to get an extra package of paper plates, the extra-sturdy kind that won't buckle under weight of the potato salad that you made — or bought at the deli (don't worry, I won't tell!). Everything is ready for your Fourth of July cookout. But wait. You forgot dessert! Sure, there's probably ice cream or sorbet in the freezer. This year, however, you'd promised yourself that you'd make something special to end the Independence Day dinner. Something all-American that would leave a memorable impression. I'm here to tell you not to worry, even though most of you are reading this in your newspaper's food section on July 4 itself, just hours before guests arrive — or before you're supposed to leave for another party, to which you'd promised to bring dessert. It is possible, even easy, to prepare an incredible last-minute dessert for the holiday, or for any summer day you want to make more memorable. You don't even have to be an accomplished pastry chef. And the secret can be found in the wonderful summer berries in supermarkets and farmers' markets right now. Fresh berries are so beautiful, sweet and juicy that they have the power to turn anyone into an expert dessert-maker. All you have to do is buy them, do minimal preparation and serve them. Slice or cut them up, or leave small ones whole, and toss with a splash of fruit brandy or liqueur and some fresh mint to make an extraordinary fruit salad, served on its own or over ice cream. Or saute briefly with a little butter and sugar to make a warm compote. Better still, toss the fruit with some sugar, spread it in a baking dish and add a simple crumble topping made from on-hand pantry ingredients, and in less than half an hour you'll have a spectacularly beautiful baked dessert. Hurry to your local market to find the berries ready and waiting, even at the last minute. Buy organic fruit if possible, selecting specimens that are well formed, blemish-free, deeply colored, plump but firm, and fragrant — all signs of freshness and sweetness. Use a mixture of different berries if you like, and add other fruit, including pitted cherries, chopped apples, or chunks of apricot, peach or plum. If you want some crunch, throw a handful of nuts into the mixture, too. Don't worry about timing. You can serve the crumble hot from the oven, warm or at room temperature. Of course, you'll want to top each serving with some of that ice cream or sorbet you have on standby in the freezer!

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Northbrook, IL


  • Boysenberry Filling:
  • 3 pints fresh boysenberries, picked over
  • 1/2 C. orange juice
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lime zest
  • Crumble Topping:
  • 1 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 C. quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 1 orange, zest grated
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 6 oz. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into dices
  • Ice cream or sorbet, optional

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a shallow baking dish that has a capacity of about 3 quarts and is 2 to 3 inches deep.

In a mixing bowl, prepare the Boysenberry Filling by tossing together the berries, orange juice, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and lime zest. Leave at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the Crumble Topping. In another mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the butter. With the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or a hand-held electric mixer on low speed, mix until the butter is fully incorporated into the dry ingredients.

Lightly stir the berry mixture and spread the fruit and its juices inside the prepared baking dish; it should be about three-quarters full. With your hands, crumble the topping evenly over the filling. Bake in the preheated oven until golden-brown and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Serve with ice cream or sorbet, if desired


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