Sunday, July 28, 2013

Individual Blackberry Crumbles

Everyone loves their own mini or individual desserts.  There is something about knowing that what you have in front of you is “all yours” that makes the anticipation of the serving even better.  The other thing that makes individual sizes awesome is that you can control portion size.  People are less likely to go back for seconds if they have their own personal mini mac n cheese or mini apple crisp.  Just try it!  You’d be surprised what little amount can satisfy you. 

I made a special dinner for my husband recently because he received an awesome promotion at work.  (Go Julian!)  Special dinners typically involve 2 or 3 courses in the Duncan household.  I felt this one definitely called for a desert round.  However, since it was the middle of the week, I also wanted something easy.  Blackberry crumbles it is!  The tartness of the blackberries pairs so incredibly well with the buttery-sweetness of the crumble.  The cooking time takes the longest so be sure to time it appropriately!

Individual Blackberry Crumbles

4c blackberries
¼ c sugar
¼ c all-purpose flour
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cornstarch
juice from half a lemon

1c chopped walnuts
¾ c all-purpose flour
½ c brown sugar
½ sugar
¾ stick very cold butter, cut into small pieces
pinch of salt

Make the crumble: Combine chopped walnuts, flour, brown sugar, sugar, butter, and salt in a bowl.  Using your hands or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the mixture until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Place in the refrigerator until ready to cook the crumbles.

Modification: This recipe is heavier on the blackberries than the crumble crust.  Therefore, if you’re a crust lover, you can double the crumble recipe and use both on top and bottom of the blackberry mixture.  Also, if you’re not a fan of the larger blackberry seeds, try this with raspberries, blueberries, or a combination.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter 4 large ramekins or mini cocottes.  Carefully combine berries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, cornstarch, and lemon juice.  Divide into each of the 4 ramekins.  Top with crumble mixture. 

Kitchen tool: Cocottes are like mini-Dutch ovens and are perfect for individual portions.  They can be used as a substitute to ramekins and are often dishwasher and oven safe.  The brand seen in these pictures are Le Creuset 12oz mini-cocottes.

Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 50-60 minutes.  Remove the crumbles to a rack to cook slightly.  Optional: serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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