Friday, July 10, 2009
Food Memory: Olallieberry Crisp
We had so many olallieberrys I had no choice, really, but to make a crisp. I made a topping from the Hay Day Country Market Cookbook. It had cornmeal and almonds and oatmeal and was crunchy and delicious. It also made enough that I have a little container of crisp topping waiting in the fridge for the next fruit or berry that ignites my passion.
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup medium grain stone ground cornmeal
1/3 cup light brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup old fashioned roled oats
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into bits
Combine flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, salt and oats. Add butter and mix with electric mixer on medium speed until the topping comes together. I was lazy and did this part by hand, mashing everything together. Tres simple! The topping should resemble coarse crumbs and put it in the fridge till you are ready to use.
I sprinkled topping on four cups of olallieberrys that I had mixed with 1/4 cups sugar. I baked the whole thing for 35 minutes at 375.
When I tasted the warm olallieberry crisp I was transported back in time. I was five years old, and we were spending our summer vacation in a small, A-frame house on Whidbey Island. There was a huge field in the back that looked out towards the sea, and the land was teeming with tangles of blackberry bushes. My mother made a blackberry crisp with berries we picked ourselves. That dessert is one of the first things I really remember tasting as a child. It was sweet and tart and deep deep purple. My baby brother smeared it all over his face in an attempt to get every last morsel into his mouth. No crisp, no summer fruit dessert, had ever tasted as good as that crisp -- until now.
I loved every single bite.