After the end of a long winter and cool spring, I grow anxious for fresh fruits and vegetables. Perhaps it's all the months of opening canned vegetables or using frozen fruits, but I reach a point every year where I cave and buy the overpriced fresh fruit in the grocery store. The "fresh" fruit hasn't found its way into a can or the freezer yet, but it lacks the flavor and texture of its seasonal counterparts. In some ways, it's like I'm setting myself up for disappointment—a very expensive disappointment.
If only fruits and vegetables could be in season every month of the year.
Well, I've grown anxious. The temperatures outside are occasionally running into the nineties and I'm left sitting next to the air conditioner wishing for a red watermelon. After buying a cheap, but ultimately terrible carton of berries at the market, I've given in. I bought frozen blueberries, citrus fruit, and green beans in a can. It may not be fresh, but it certainly doesn't lack in flavor.
Right now, that's just what I need.
Fruit desserts are quintessential to summer evenings. After a hot, humid day, they make for a cool, light pick-me-up to satisfy my sweet tooth without the richness or heaviness a chocolate cake can bring. When I made this crumble, I enjoyed it hot from the oven on a cool rainy morning and chilled after the hot sun invited itself into my living room.
Until I can raid the farmer's markets, frozen fruit will just have to work for me.
Blueberry Lemon Crumble is a simple dessert combining sweet blueberries with tart lemon. The blueberries are sprinkled with an oatmeal crumble topping before roasting in the oven until fragrant and bubbly. If you listen closely, you can hear the blueberries sing. This makes for a lovely accompaniment to a cool summer meal.
Blueberry Lemon Crumble
Yields 4 servings
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, rolled oats, and brown sugar. Add the cold, cubed butter and, using your fingers, mix the butter into the flour until the whole mixture resembles coarse sand and holds together when squeezed. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and blueberries.
Divide blueberries equally between four ramekins (or place all in a small, cast iron skillet). Crumble on the oatmeal topping. Place ramekins on a baking sheet in case the crumbles overflow and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until topping is browned and the crumbles are bubbly and fragrant. Allow to cool for ten minutes before serving (the fruit will be very hot). The crumbles may also be enjoyed at room temperature or chilled in the refrigerator.