I have an Aimée original here for you today! I've been trying to get more in the mind-set of recipe developing and less of recipe following these days. I can follow a recipe like nobody's business, but I never think to write down the recipes I 'create' most nights for dinner. And by 'create' I mean looking through the pantry and fridge and dreaming up a dish from what's there, like so many of us do! (Must work on documenting those dinner recipes.)
When it comes to baking and desserts, however, and while I often adapt recipes, it's not often I start with an idea or ingredient and develop the recipe around it, the way I do when I cook. For that reason, I'm starting with something simple in this post: Jumbleberry Crisp.
I adore crisps and associate them just as much with autumn as I do with summer, depending on what lies beneath that crumbly, upper layer. I do usually find them a touch too sweet, however, so I attempted to make one that focuses more on flavour and texture than on outright sweetness.
I'm also still in Boot Camp and working my tail off - quite literally! - so I thought it would be best to stick with lighter desserts (like last week's No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Squares) for another one of our BBQs with "the neighbours." I absolutely loved the end product.
Once I had an idea of what I wanted to do, I looked over my go-to crisp recipe for ratios. I replaced the white flour with whole wheat flour, and I cut back on the butter by a 1/4 cup. I then swapped out the cinnamon for my favourite: cardamom. I cut back the amount of brown sugar by a 1/4 cup and added more texture and crunch to the crumble with a 1/2 cup of slivered almonds. For the berry mixture, I omitted the white sugar, replacing it with a bit of organic cane sugar and local honey, and then sprinkled lemon zest over top to complement the cardamom.
Not exactly calorie-free, but an improvement!
by Aimee White
2 Tbsp. cane sugar
2 Tbsp. local honey
Zest of one lemon
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/2 cup butter, cubed, at room temperature
In a large bowl, toss the berries with cane sugar, honey, and zest. Spread evenly in a 9x13 pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, almonds, and cardamom. Cut in the butter, eventually rubbing the mixture with your fingers to fully combine. (If you find your butter isn't soft enough or not going the distance, just pop the whole bowl of crumble into the microwave for 10-15 seconds and then try cutting the mixture again). Pour evenly over the berry mixture and bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool 20-25 minutes before serving.