blueberry crisp

Blueberry Crisp with Oat-Streusel Crust

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Where I live (Connecticut), Memorial Day Weekend is the “official” start of outdoor grill/BBQ season. Sure, some people use their grills all year, even in the depth of winter. And some start around April. But the weather has been crummy, so — no grilling for me until this weekend.

I need a nice, summery dessert for after, right?

Here it is. Blueberry Crisp. Really simple and easy. Oaty, lightly sweet and with a gently crispy crust. You can make it dairy or parve. Goes well after anything you might have grilled for dinner. Good stuff for Father’s Day too. And July 4th.

Notice that there isn’t too much sugar in either the filling or the crust. Doesn’t need more.

Blueberry Crisp with Oat-Streusel Crust

Filling:

  • 4 cups fresh blueberries

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Crust:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup quick cooking or rolled oats

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, vegetable shortening or margarine, cut into chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and flour in a baking dish. Set aside. Place the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and mix ingredients to distribute them evenly. Add the butter and work it into the dry ingredients with fingertips or a pastry blender until the mixture looks like coarse meal (or pulse in a food processor). Place the oat mixture over the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is crispy and brown.

Makes 4-6 servings.

 

 

Blueberry Pie with Oat-Coconut Streusel

I find this very difficult to believe, but there are actually some people in my family who don’t like pie.  Huh?  For me, pie is the ultimate dessert. Tender, crumbly golden brown crust. Just a little sweet and with enough salt, fresh fruit and maybe a hint of seasoning. Pie isn’t fancy and doesn’t need to be.  So who could not like it?  Once I asked my husband Ed why he didn’t eat my pie. I thought maybe it was because he grew up in a cake-and-canned-fruit-for-dessert house.  But he told me that he doesn’t like the top crust. He would eat pie if it had a streusel top.  I made those of course, but the problem with a standard, flour-based streusel top is that if you don’t eat the pie right away — like in my case, I bake a half dozen at a time when I can get good fruit — and you freeze it, then the streusel gets all soggy. And unlike regular pie-crust pie, it never bakes back crumbly and crispy. It looks awful too.  Recently I figured out a way to make a pie with a streusel type top that you can actually refrigerate or freeze and it will stay (or reheat to) crisp and crumbly: use a mixture designed for a fruit crisp. These bake properly because they usually contain ingredients (like nuts and oats) that create a firm texture.  As this one did.  I made this blueberry pie with a top crust that I’ve used for fruit crisp. This pie is the best of both worlds: a bottom crust and pie shape for those of us who adore real pie and a top crunchy streusel crust that stays crispy for those who prefer fruit crisp.      Blueberry Pie with Oat-Coconut Streusel   1 recipe Oat-Coconut Streusel (see below)  5 cups blueberries  1/2 cup sugar  5 tablespoons flour  3/4 teaspoon cinnamon  1/4 teaspoon salt  2 tablespoons lemon juice  1 9-inch unbaked pie crust  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the Oat-Coconut Streusel and set aside. Mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Pour the blueberry filling into the pie crust. Cover with the streusel. Bake about one hour or until top is golden brown.   Oat-Coconut Streusel   1/2 cup flour  1/2 cup grated coconut  1/2 cup old fashioned oats  1/2 cup chopped nuts  1/4 cup brown sugar  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon  6 tablespoons melted butter     Place the flour, coconut, oats, nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Pour in the melted butter. Mix until the dry the ingredients are covered with the melted butter.    

I find this very difficult to believe, but there are actually some people in my family who don’t like pie.

Huh?

For me, pie is the ultimate dessert. Tender, crumbly golden brown crust. Just a little sweet and with enough salt, fresh fruit and maybe a hint of seasoning. Pie isn’t fancy and doesn’t need to be.

So who could not like it?

Once I asked my husband Ed why he didn’t eat my pie. I thought maybe it was because he grew up in a cake-and-canned-fruit-for-dessert house.

But he told me that he doesn’t like the top crust. He would eat pie if it had a streusel top.

I made those of course, but the problem with a standard, flour-based streusel top is that if you don’t eat the pie right away — like in my case, I bake a half dozen at a time when I can get good fruit — and you freeze it, then the streusel gets all soggy. And unlike regular pie-crust pie, it never bakes back crumbly and crispy. It looks awful too.

Recently I figured out a way to make a pie with a streusel type top that you can actually refrigerate or freeze and it will stay (or reheat to) crisp and crumbly: use a mixture designed for a fruit crisp. These bake properly because they usually contain ingredients (like nuts and oats) that create a firm texture.

As this one did.

I made this blueberry pie with a top crust that I’ve used for fruit crisp. This pie is the best of both worlds: a bottom crust and pie shape for those of us who adore real pie and a top crunchy streusel crust that stays crispy for those who prefer fruit crisp.

 

Blueberry Pie with Oat-Coconut Streusel

1 recipe Oat-Coconut Streusel (see below)

5 cups blueberries

1/2 cup sugar

5 tablespoons flour

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 9-inch unbaked pie crust

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the Oat-Coconut Streusel and set aside. Mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Pour the blueberry filling into the pie crust. Cover with the streusel. Bake about one hour or until top is golden brown.

Oat-Coconut Streusel

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup grated coconut

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons melted butter

 

Place the flour, coconut, oats, nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Pour in the melted butter. Mix until the dry the ingredients are covered with the melted butter. 

 

Blueberry Crisp

We’ll have a July 4th holiday theme for the biweekly Tea I bake for (for cancer patients and their caregivers at Stamford Hospital). T he women who coordinate these events, sponsored by Hadassah, have asked us (the bakers) to consider red, white and blue based desserts and confections.    I thought about the time one of my daughters volunteered me to do a red, white and blue dessert for her grade school class (I think that one was for Flag Day). What I came up with then was something in the shape of a sheet cake, but made of strips of watermelon and cream cheese; the star field was a bunch of blueberries piped on top with tiny cream cheese stars that I squeezed out of a pastry tube.    It looked like a flag all right. And the kids ate it all. But I really didn’t like the combination of soft, watery watermelon together with thick, dense cream cheese.    So, for the Tea I am going to stick to something much more mundane, but which I know is absolutely delicious, especially because local blueberries are now available and I just bought myself some.    Blueberry Crisp it is.    By the way, I looked up the word “biweekly” before I used it, wondering if it was actually every two weeks, as I thought, OR twice a week. Several dictionaries say it is BOTH meanings. Which might be fine if we are talking about baking a cake or something. But what if your doctor says “take these pills biweekly.” Do you take them every two weeks or twice a week?      Blueberry Crisp          2 pints fresh blueberries   1/3 cup sugar    5 tablespoons all-purpose flour    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon    2 tablespoons lemon juice    1 cup bran flakes or raisin bran    1/2 cup quick cooking or rolled oats    1/2 cup chopped nuts such as almonds, cashews or pecans    1/4 cup brown sugar    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon    6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or margarine         Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the blueberries, sugar, flour, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and lemon juice in a 6-cup baking dish. Set aside. Crush the cereal flakes slightly and put them in a bowl. Add the oats, nuts, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Pour in the melted butter. Mix until the dry the ingredients are coated with the melted butter. Place the cereal mixture over the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is crispy and brown. Let cool slightly but serve warm (may be rewarmed). Serve plain or with cream, ice cream, whipped cream, or sorbet. Makes 6–8 servings.     

We’ll have a July 4th holiday theme for the biweekly Tea I bake for (for cancer patients and their caregivers at Stamford Hospital). The women who coordinate these events, sponsored by Hadassah, have asked us (the bakers) to consider red, white and blue based desserts and confections.

I thought about the time one of my daughters volunteered me to do a red, white and blue dessert for her grade school class (I think that one was for Flag Day). What I came up with then was something in the shape of a sheet cake, but made of strips of watermelon and cream cheese; the star field was a bunch of blueberries piped on top with tiny cream cheese stars that I squeezed out of a pastry tube.

It looked like a flag all right. And the kids ate it all. But I really didn’t like the combination of soft, watery watermelon together with thick, dense cream cheese.

So, for the Tea I am going to stick to something much more mundane, but which I know is absolutely delicious, especially because local blueberries are now available and I just bought myself some.

Blueberry Crisp it is.

By the way, I looked up the word “biweekly” before I used it, wondering if it was actually every two weeks, as I thought, OR twice a week. Several dictionaries say it is BOTH meanings. Which might be fine if we are talking about baking a cake or something. But what if your doctor says “take these pills biweekly.” Do you take them every two weeks or twice a week?

 

Blueberry Crisp     

 

2 pints fresh blueberries

1/3 cup sugar

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup bran flakes or raisin bran

1/2 cup quick cooking or rolled oats

1/2 cup chopped nuts such as almonds, cashews or pecans

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or margarine

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the blueberries, sugar, flour, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and lemon juice in a 6-cup baking dish. Set aside. Crush the cereal flakes slightly and put them in a bowl. Add the oats, nuts, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Pour in the melted butter. Mix until the dry the ingredients are coated with the melted butter. Place the cereal mixture over the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is crispy and brown. Let cool slightly but serve warm (may be rewarmed). Serve plain or with cream, ice cream, whipped cream, or sorbet. Makes 6–8 servings.