Although it seemed unusually short, we did have a brief strawberry season here and the few I was able to procure were very sweet and lovely. They were from North Carolina and Florida, not Georgia berries. I think we had too much rain for a good local crop this year, in fact.
The first round of berries were consumed for breakfast in short order. The second round involved a big blowout berry sale, and I felt compelled to make a dessert. Thinking I would still have more berries coming to make a shortcake this year, I decided to do a crisp first. Alas, I was wrong about the first part of that statement, but this new little twist on my older version of a crisp was absolutely outstanding! Good enough to revisit and share with you today, I think. Making individual servings versus a large pan of crisp concentrated all the flavors of the berries, juices and even the crisp component, into a truly divine dessert. Even if you don’t have fresh and local strawberries, this is a great way to enjoy any berry or peach crisp. But hopefully you do have some strawberries coming your way and can give the following recipe a try!
But before I post the modified recipe below, I must show you the last of the spring flowers from both my garden and my mom’s garden. I know we still have a couple of weeks of Spring left, but it sure feels more like Summer around here right now, and the spring flowers are gone for this year. Above is another little slideshow of flowers for your enjoyment. Have a happy Monday!
What? No strawberries? No worries, this will work with apples, peaches, cherries or berries. The Grand Marnier is good with cherries, but you can change up the liqueur to suit the fruit and yourself…peaches and a splash of amaretto or bourbon, perhaps? Or you can omit the alcohol altogether. You can also try lemon zest instead of orange…it’s all good!
Individual Strawberry Orange and Almond Crisps
For the berries:
2 1/2 lbs. fresh strawberries, stems removed and sliced
zest of one orange
1/3 cup sugar, preferably cane sugar
2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 Tablespoon flour
For the topping:
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup cane sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup rolled (not quick cooking) oats
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 lb. (I stick) unsalted butter, cold and diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter six 1-cup baking ramekins generously and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the berries, zest, sugar, Grand Marnier and flour, stirring to mix well and set aside while you make the topping.
In a small bowl combine the flour, both sugars, salt, oats, almonds and the butter, and use your hands to lightly work the butter into the dry ingredients until it just becomes crumbly with pea-sized pieces of butter.
Transfer the berries and their juices to the prepared ramekins and divide evenly. Top each evenly with the crumble topping. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet that has been completely covered in aluminum foil and place the whole in the oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees until the filling is bubbling and the topping is a light golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow it to sit for about 5-10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla bean ice cream.