Mixed Fruit Brown Betty

This is a cobbler (A.K.A.: crumble, Brown Betty or crisp) I made the other night after work when I was especially burned out and in need of a great comforting dessert that I could put together without having to read or follow a cookbook or an online recipes. Basically, I used the formula I always do for my fruit cobblers, and threw in whatever I felt would work that was kicking around at the time.

I used a bag of frozen mixed berries I bought at the grocery store back when they were on sale for this very type of occasion. It was a mix of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I cut the bag open at the top and down from sternum to tailpipe, and dropped the frozen lump into my baking pan. While that came up in temperature enough that I could break it up with my wooden spoon, I assembled the rest of the filling in a small bowl, and then assembled the topping ingredients in a slightly bigger bowl. When everything was prepped and the fruit was softened up enough, I took the butter out of the fridge and diced it up into half inch cubes, and separated them into two piles – one for the top, one for the bottom of the cobbler.

Here is what I came up with the other night for ingredients. The overall taste was spot on my target, and the husband was really into it. WIN!

Auntie Stacey’s Mixed Fruit Brown Betty:
1 Bag Frozen Mixed Fruit, enough to fill a 6-8 serving medium size baking dish
1 Pinch Salt
1 Tea Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tea Ground Cardamom (optional – I happen to always have it on hand)
1/4 C Brown Sugar, lightly packed
4 Tbsp Cornstarch
3 Tbsp Cold Butter, cubed
Juice of half a Lime

Mix this into a small bowl and toss it over the fruit. Use a spatula to mix everything enough. None of the ingredients have to be perfectly incorporated, and there’s no need to work the butter cubes into the filling’s dry ingredients. This is a rustic dessert, not a sophisticated Cherries Jubilee.

1 1/2 C Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 C Flour
3 Tbsp Cold Butter, cubed
1/4 Tea Ground Cinnamon

Using a butter cutting gadget, or two knives, or your fingers, cut up the butter and incorporate as much of the finer dry ingredients for the topping into the butter as you want. Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect or even all smooshed up. It’s a rustic dessert, so leave some clumps untouched and unsmooshed.

Top the filling with this crumbled mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes uncovered. Leaving it uncovered will allow the oats in the topping to crisp up nicely as it deepens in colour.

Let it rest at least 20 minutes before you dig in. At least! I let mine rest up to a full hour sometimes. What the rest period does for the dessert is to allow more time for the mixture of cornstarch and brown sugar in the filling to cook down all liquid coming out of the fruit into a love thickened syrup. That syrup, by the way, is great spooned over some ice cream or whipped cream should you serve that alongside this dessert. (And I highly recommend that you do.)

PS: I was so frazzled from work the other night, we ate it all over two days and never once thought about taking a picture for this blog entry. My apologies. You all know what cobblers look like, right? If not, and you don’t or can’t wait till I make this again to photograph, you can always use Google images to see what these desserts looks like.

Enjoy!

Blackberry & Pear Crisp

BB-Pear_Crisp-9BB_Pear_Crisp-5[ Blackberry & Pear Crisp – fresh out of the oven ]

Today a customer gave us our first batch of blackberries off one of the bushes he has in his side yard at home after the husband fixed his computer. (Not as a payment, but as an extra, “Here. This is for you because I remember your wife and you love these from last year when I brought you some at the store,” sort of way.) And we did.

He gave us about one and a half cups, and kindly washed them for us, so all I had to do was peel and cut up the lone pear we had in the fridge to add to the berries for this recipe. I love when a great plan comes together on the fly like this.

So, my challenge wasn’t what kind of crisp I wanted to make, but rather to scale the one recipe I love the most down to something that will use up everything I have onhand and will also fit nicely into two small baking dishes. I adapted the following to make a 2-person serving. Hope you all like it.

Auntie Stacey’s Blackberry & Pear Crisp:
2 C Blackberries + Pears (you can make them even or a bit more of one over the other)
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1-2 Tbsp Cornstarch

1/2 C Rolled Oats
1/3 C Flour
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp Butter (unsalted, cold and cubed)

BB_Pear_Crisp-3

[ Blackberry & Pear Crisp – ready for the oven ]

In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch; lightly toss with the fruit, or if they berries are too tender, drop the mixture over the fruit as it sits in the baking dishes.

In the bowl again, mix the oats, flour and sugar. Top each baking dish with half of this mixture. Place the small cubes over top of the topping within half an inch of each other.

No need to go overboard or to crowd. If you leftover cubes, chill them for the next crisp you do or use them for your next corn-on-the-cob dinner.

Bake the crisps at 350 for 35 minutes, or until bubbling hot and most of the topping has crisped up.

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Cool till the fruit can be eaten without scaling the mouth, and serve with French Vanilla ice cream or, if you have it, freshly whipped cream topping.

Yields: 2

BB-Pear_Crisp-10

{ So good. So, so good. ]