Black and Blueberry Crisp

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My father was gifted some beautiful blueberries today, and right when I saw them, I knew I had to make a sweet dessert with them. At first, I was contemplating making a blueberry muffin, but the more my innovation began to churn, the more I wanted to attempt something a bit more difficult. Then it stunned me – a blueberry wine reduction. A blueberry crisp, ureka! What a wonderful treat for a warm summer night.

I did some research before attempting, and followed the basic jist of these recipes:

http://iadorefood.com/recipes/blueberry-crumble/

http://half-bakedbaker.blogspot.com/2008/06/blueberry-nectarine-crisp-and-award.html

One of my favorite desserts is apple crisp (mostly the crumb topping). I had at least half a bottle of a beautiful, locally fermented blackberry wine that I have desperately been wanting to use in a baked dessert, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to test the waters.

This dish is seriously delicious. I was hesitant to put more crumble on top before baking, and I wish I did! The blackberry wine gives it a unique fruity and sweet undertone which makes this dessert truly one of a kind. The cookie dough type crumble adds a different texture that complimented nicely with the fresh berries. Top with a vanilla ice cream or eat it directly out of the dish – the choice is yours.

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Black and Blueberry Crisp

Crumble topping:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (8 tbsp)

1/2 cup light brown sugar (not packed down)

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup Honey Maid graham cracker crumbs

3/4 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I used vietnamese cinnamon that I purchased from Whole Foods)

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Filling:

1/4 cup Blackberry wine

1/2 cup granulated sugar

16 ounces (2 cups) fresh blueberries, washed

6 ounces (0.75 cup) fresh blackberries, washed

Directions:

1. Set oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×9 ceramic baking dish lightly with unsalted butter.

2. Make the crumble topping and set it aside:

  1. Cream together the butter and brown sugar in a stand up (or hand held) mixer.
  2. With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix in the flour and graham cracker crumbs until they are well incorporated into the batter.
  3. Fold in the oats.
  4. Add cinnamon and nutmeg.

Tip: Use your hands if necessary. You will not only be able to see if the texture of the dough is forming correctly, but it will also be easier to incorporate all the ingredients.

The topping should be very similar to a cookie dough. Do not fret! The dough will be moist, but it will bake through.

3. Make the berry reduction:

  1. On low to medium-low heat, add wine and sugar to a medium sized sauce pan.
  2. Let it thicken (come to a light boil) and make a simple syrup. (note: this is what I SHOULD have done, but added the berries a minute or so too early)
  3. Gently toss in blackberries and blueberries to the syrup. Let the mixture reduce and start to bubble around the edges of the saucepan.

4. Add the berry reduction to the ceramic dish.

5. Evenly sprinkle the “crumble” dough on top. Make sure the entire dish is covered with the crumble. (Seriously, you will want to, because it is absolutely delicious!)

6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the topping becomes a golden brown and the filling begins to bubble. Let it cool for a minute or two, and enjoy!

Update 5/19: Refrigerate up to 3 to 4 days at most. The cookie crumb topping (after 3 days) has retained its texture and has not gotten mushy by any means. The syrup has set and it looks just as delicious as it did after being baked in the oven.

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