As Independence Day in the U.S. rolls rapidly towards us in the form of our annual July 4th celebration, it only seems appropriate to share a festive recipe to go along with all the fireworks! This traditional and delightful dessert is a rift on one that I make all the time and in many forms, because it’s a favorite of mine and it has universal adult and kid appeal.
I am, of course, speaking of the fruit concoction known by many names…cobbler, crisp or crumble. By definition, this version can be called either a crisp or a crumble, and it’s quite versatile in terms of the fruits you can use. For the patriotic colors and for the mix of sweet-tart flavors, I chose a combination of peaches, cherries and blueberries, but any mixture of fruits you enjoy together will work. You can feel free to substitute blackberries or raspberries for cherries (as you’ll see in my baking dish version), omit blueberries or use all of one fruit. In the winter months, for those of you in winter right now, I make a variation of this with apples using orange zest and adding a bit of lemon juice, and sometimes I throw in some walnuts or pecans into the crumbled topping.
But particularly in the summer months when so much fresh fruit is available, I find that the combination of two to three juicy fruits really makes the flavor burst forth, as does the addition of some zingy lemon zest. I sometimes substitute a bit of brown sugar for granulated cane sugar, and I also love the addition of oats in the topping for extra crunch, texture and of course (Ahem!) the health benefits.
Here’s my current favorite crumble, so easy to pull together and it also happens to be red, white and blue…just in time for the holiday!
Happy 4th of July, happy summer and happy eating!
Star-Spangled Cherry Berry Peach Crumble
For the fruit mixture:
1 1/2 cups fresh pitted Bing cherries or you could use a sour cherry
2 cups fresh blueberries
3 cups fresh sliced peaches, I peel mine but you can do as you like
1/2 cup sugar, I use cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Zest of 1 lemon
For the crumble:
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed (you can use regular sugar and I have done so many times)
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
Vanilla bean ice cream to serve (optional, but recommended!)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter either six 1 cup ramekins, or a 2-inch deep glass baking dish, and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cherries, blueberries and peaches (or whatever fruits you are using). Add the sugar, cinnamon and zest and stir to coat well. Set aside while you make the crumble topping. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, oats, flour and cinnamon. Add the cut butter and mix with your hands until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is in pea-sized pieces.
If using ramekins, spoon the fruit mixture into each of six ramekins, dividing equally, and if using a baking dish, evenly spread the fruit into the bottom. Cover the fruit with the crumble mixture. If using ramekins, place them on a foil lined baking sheet before baking to catch any spills, otherwise just put the baking dish into the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit mixture is bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow the crumble to cool at least 15 minutes or to room temperature. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with vanilla ice cream dripping lusciously over the fruit!