Last week I visited my dear friend Sara in Humboldt County, where she recently started a lovely farm! She has a huge garden that I got to dig my fingers into, and plant all sorts of squashes and salad greens. I had a great time sweating it out in her hoop-house green house where I planted the squashes (we even planted a type of decorative winter squash called a “Red Warty Thing“, which is unusual and exciting), and I got to feed her 11 chickens. I may include some pictures of them in my next post, so watch out!
Anyway, back to my baking adventures…It seems that everywhere I go, it is blueberry picking season! Humboldt was ripe with these juicy berries, and together we picked a bucket full. It was the beginning of the blueberry season here in California (unlike when I was in New York, where the berries were busting out all over the place), so the berries we got this time were on the tart side. Perfect for baking with!
This is a pretty basic recipe that I made up on the spot; it was really nice with the fresh-picked blueberries, since their tartness balanced out the sweetness of the topping. It’s an easy and quick fall-back recipe, and is one that you can play around with quite a bit. You can add to the fruit filling with whatever fruits you have around the house, like apples, any sort of berries, or even banana is good in a crisp. You can also add to the topping however you want by mixing in chopped nuts or granola – this would give an added crunch and texture, and throwing in a pinch or two of nutmeg or cloves would give it an extra spicy punch.
7-8 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh sliced peaches
2 tsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup Earth Balance, room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together your blueberries and peaches and add the orange juice. Combine only till fruit is coated; you don’t want to over-mix and crush your berries. Pour into a 9×13 inch pan. Set aside while you mix your topping ingredients.
In a medium bowl, cream together your Earth Balance and sugars. When they are nice and fluffy, add in your flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Mix till just combined. Add your oats last. You may have to mix these in with your hands, depending on how thick your dough is at this point. Sprinkle on top of your berries and stick the whole thing in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and crispy. If you let it sit to cool for a bit, the filling will firm up and be easier to cut or scoop. It’s nice to eat warm, but can also be heated up later.