The farmer’s markets are all overflowing with everything summer has to offer. My twenty minutes at the Dedham Farmers Market today sent me home laden with four almond croissants, eight ears of corn, a cucumber, a pound of tomatoes, a pound of purple beans (apparently they turn green when cooked like some sort of cool Crayola product!), and a pint of the sweetest blueberries ever – no joke!
I spent my ride home peacefully thinking of the blueberry crisp I was going to make. I say peacefully, because Little Guy was happily munching away happily on half an almond croissant in the back seat (not exactly the nutritious and delicious lunch I had planned). The crisp I imagined brimmed with blueberry flavor hidden under crunchy almonds, oatmeal and brown sugar.
After sitting in traffic and then eventually waiting out a toddler’s sugar high I finally got Little Guy down for a nap. It was time to get to the crisp. Making it was really no big deal. I tossed the berries with a little flour, sugar and lemon juice and then for the topping I started with the basic oatmeal and brown sugar topping but I added a hefty amount of toasted ground almonds. The result was something easy and healthy enough for a weeknight, but special enough for the sweetest blueberries ever. Toasting the almonds brought a savory note to the crisp that made it something new and different. It’s excellent by itself, but I suggest a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Enjoy.
Blueberry Crisp with Ground Toasted Almonds – Click here for a printer-friendly version
This can be halved for use with a single pint of blueberries, but be sure to use a smaller baking dish so it doesn’t dry out. Use more or less sugar depending on the sweetness of your blueberries. This recipe is loosely based on a Martha Stewart recipe that can be found here.
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoon flour
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
1/3 packed cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 375. Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray and add blueberries (I used an 8×8 for a full recipe and a small oval baker for a 1/2 recipe). Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons flour, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, lemon juice and almond extract over the blueberries and toss to mix.
Toast the almonds lightly and then let cool slightly. I always use the toaster oven on the toast setting when toasting small amounts of nuts. However, I have to watch them very very closely or they will easily get too dark. If your toaster oven is like mine, it cooks very unevenly, so I stir them several times in one toast cycle. If you don’t have a toaster oven you can use a 350 ºF oven for 10 minutes. Once toasted, remove and let cool for five minutes.
While the almonds are cooling combine 1/4 cup flour, oats, brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and baking powder. Using a fork or pastry cutter, mix in the butter until the mixture resembles wet sand (well, wet sand with pieces of oatmeal in it).
Once the almonds have cooled, use a small food processor to grind the almonds to a coarse flour with pieces about the size of couscous.
Add the almonds to the crisp topping, combine and spread evenly over the blueberry mixture.
Place the crisp in the oven and bake until the top is brown and the crisp is bubbling, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly but serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.