Friday, August 17, 2007

Blueberry Crisp with Buttermilk Ice Cream

It’s blueberry season, and I’m taking my own advice and eating heartily. When blueberries seemed to suddenly become recognized for their incredible nutritious properties and thus very popular, I was selfishly worried that world demand would increase, prices would go up and I wouldn’t have as many blueberries as I wanted. Luckily, blueberries are an important crop for New Brunswick farmers, I can still afford to buy them (I picked up a quart for $3.99 this morning at Pete’s Frootique), and in general, I still get to eat as many blueberries as I want.

One of the ways I do this is to pick my own. My sister and I always had a blueberry picking outing every August when she was still in town, and I’ve kept on going on my own since she’s left. Rockwood Park, in the centre of the city has blueberries and rock cranberries growing wildly and abundantly throughout the park lands. Anyone can visit the park for free, for swimming, hiking, picnicking, etc. And I go for the berries.

With three hours of picking, I was able to gain about 4 litres of blueberries- enough for this crisp, snacking, and for bowls of berries with milk, sprinkled with sugar (and old childhood bedtime snack).

The first layer of crisp I put on the berries was overtaken by the berries, so I took it out of the oven and added some more crisp. It didn’t feel like too much crisp, in the end (is there such a thing as too much crisp?), so I guess it just cooked right into the berries. As a result, I’m recommending a 1.5:1 of berries to crisp. I cooked this one at more like 3:1, but it actually turned out great. Instead of cream, I served it with buttermilk ice cream, which was heavenly rich (but I reminded myself that the buttermilk is fat free, of course).
Blueberry Crisp
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Use as many as is required to cover the bottom of your baking dish at about 2 inches deep.
3. Make sure the stems, leaves and bugs are removed from your berries. Rinse them in water, and allow them to mostly dry.
4. Lightly coat the berries in flour, and put into your baking dish.
5. Mix even amounts of sugar, flour, and butter (approximately ½ C each of flour and sugar, and 6 Tbsp of butter) in a mixing bowl until crumbly, like pie pastry. Add more of any of the three ingredients to gain the appropriate texture. Add to the top of the blueberries.
6. Bake covered for about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until the crisp is lightly golden.

I found the buttermilk ice cream recipe online at Epicurious. I made it according to the recipe, and it was fabulous.

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