Around each March, when I feel as if winter will never end and the snow will never melt, I throw a package or two of berries into my basket at the market. It's an impulse buy—the berries may be brightly colored, but the flavor is so faint and lacking I often feel as if I shouldn't have bothered in the first place. Yet, year after year, the berries are there, a reminder that summer is a few months away, even if the weather outdoors does not reflect it. The berries carry memories of happy moments, long afternoons, and picnics out on the porch.
And now, finally, my basket is overflowing with berries of all kinds.
The last few days have been cold and windy. I've stayed indoors, buried in books, and enjoying the heat from the oven, a rarity in these summer months. To take advantage, I've taken out the mixing bowls and have been working on whipping up a few desserts here and there.
Lately, I've had a tendency to go a little overboard when buying berries and this week was no exception. I like to throw a handful blueberries in my breakfast each morning. I enjoy eating blackberries slowly, with a side of chocolate. But when these habits aren't enough to to make the berries disappear, I gather the rest together, cover them with a crunchy topping, and bake them up until the juices begin to sizzle.
Crumbles are one of my favorite ways to enjoy fruit. While any fruit could really be used, berries are the most reminiscent of summer to me. While I prefer to eat mine cold and plain, straight from the refrigerator, crumbles are just as nice served warm with a topping of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. With the holiday weekend coming up, the natural color scheme of this particular version seems like an apt way to celebrate.
Mixed Berry Quinoa Crumble is a wonderful way to use up summer berries. Whether fresh or frozen, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries come together with a crumble topping to create a simple dessert. With the red and blue berries, this dessert can make a great addition to your Independence Day celebrations.
One Year Ago: Dill Dinner Rolls, Sparkling Lemon Drop, and Berry Cheesecake Tarts
Two Years Ago: Multigrain Bread, Blueberry Lemon Crumble, and Vanilla Cupcakes
Three Years Ago: Baby Sugar Cookies, Strawberry Smoothie, and Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade
Four Years Ago: Strawberry Panna Cotta, Tapioca Pudding, and Blueberry & Raspberry Tartlets
Mixed Berry Quinoa Crumble
Yields 6-8 servings
24 ounces (680 grams) fresh or frozen berries
1/3 cup (75 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (85 grams) quinoa, uncooked
1/2 cup (45 grams) old fashioned oats
1/4 cup (25 grams) sliced or chopped almonds
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the berries, sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, and lemon juice until evenly coated. Transfer the berries to a deep pie pan. Set aside.
In another mixing bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the quinoa, oats, almonds, and salt until evenly mixed. Using your fingers, tear off small pieces of dough and sprinkle it evenly over the top of the berries.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the top is browned and the berries have released their juices. Allow to cool before serving. When serving, top with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or leave it plain. To store, cover and keep refrigerated.