July 3, 2007

Who wants dessert?

I don't know what I'm doing lately. I haven't made this many desserts in quite awhile. The strangest part is that I don't even need much prompting to get in the kitchen and whip it up. What can I say? I'm a sucker for fresh summer fruit and new individual baking dishes. In addition to loving the taste of these strawberry-blueberry crisps, I love my new individual gratin-like dishes that are the perfect vessels with which to carry these raw berries to baked, bubbly perfection.

I'm not all that picky when it comes to crisp topping; I mean, honestly, any combo of brown sugar, nuts, oatmeal or cookies crushed up with butter is going to pretty freaking good. In these crisps, I made a basic crisp topping with ingredients I had right in the pantry: oatmeal, almonds, flour and brown sugar. I love berries this time of year and there's the added bonus: no peeling or chopping, just rinse and toss them in! This recipe serves 2, but you could easily double or triple the recipe for your next picnic!

Happy 4th of July!
What are you cooking for The Fourth? Leave your favorite dishes or desserts in the comments section!Berry Crisp
(adapted from Alton Brown)
5 large fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh blueberries

1 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 - 1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup oatmeal (or amaretti or other cookies)
1/3 cup sliced almonds

3 Tbsp butter

vanilla ice cream

Toss the rinsed and drained berries with the sugar (to taste) and flour to coat evenly. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oatmeal and almonds. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, fork or your fingers until the butter is in small pieces, about the size of a pea.

Butter 2 gratin dishes, small dishes or ramekins and pour the tossed berries in them. Top the berries with a generous amount of the topping. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until the berries are bubbling beneath the browned topping. Let cool 5-10 minutes. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serves 2.


Adam said...

Looks great, Megan! For this Fourth we decided on a down-home southern American staple: fried chicken. While it is not at all rocket science to deep fry anything, we found this recipe to be pretty incredible. I know this is from the Crisco website, but it is taken from Mama Dip's restaurant in Chapel Hill.

Mama Dip's Country Fried Chicken

Use a whole fryer, cut up, or parts of your choice. It takes about 2 minutes over medium high heat for oil to get hot enough for frying. If it smokes or pops when the chicken touches it, the oil is too hot.

Chicken parts
1-1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups shortening

In a bowl, mix 2 teaspoons salt with 2 cups water. Put in the chicken parts and let soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain. Mix together the flour, pepper, and salt and batter the chicken by dipping the pieces in the flour mixture until they are coated on all sides, shaking off excess flour.
In a skillet, over medium heat, let the shortening get hot. It should be at 350: on a thermometer, or you can test it by taking a piece of chicken and letting the corner touch the shortening: if it begins to fry, the shortening is ready. If the shortening appears too hot, remove the skillet from the heat and let it cool a little.
Brown the chicken on all sides, reducing the heat if needed as it cooks. It takes about 20 minutes to fry chicken well-done. If you are afraid that the chicken is not done even though the batter is browned, put it in a baking pan and place it in the oven at 350: for 15 minutes.

FYI: we used peanut oil instead to great result, and we also served it with a side of your Stove Top Mac and Cheese! What a healthy Fourth it was for us!

Megan said...

Adam - OMG, that sounds awesome! Good call on the peanut oil instead of crisco. I wish I could've devoured fried chicken and mac 'n cheese with you (sounds like a perfect meal to me!)

ComplEater said...

Megan - looks yummy! We had a BBQ for our Fourth (which takes on much more meaning when you are not in the US). Check out the cookie recipe below...yes, grown men's knees literally buckled and there was moaning.


Betty C. said...

These look delicious -- surely a great summer dessert.