Monday, December 6, 2010

Oh My. Berry Pie (I Mean Crisp).

What is better than a hot steaming berry crisp a la mode? Well, that's what I was trying to figure out when it occurred to me: nothing. Except maybe something nutty, something streusely... something that could absolutely be combined with my berry crisp to rock my sweet toothed world. 

To be perfectly honest, when I embarked on my inspired journey to the berry promised land, I had little direction and lots of hunger. I must say, however, that with my sense of adventure (and this recipe from as my guide, I think I may have found it.

The warm flavors of tart berry, smooth and nutty macadamia nuts, buttery streusel melting with creamy vanilla ice cream on my tongue made me forget all my worries, as well as all the turkey I'd eaten just minutes earlier.... and that is a success if I've ever had one.


Serves about 10


For the topping:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour ($1.99)
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar ($1.39)
1/4 cup granulated sugar ($1.99)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ($1.99)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg ($1.39)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut in 1/2″ cubes (4 sticks $2.99)
1/2 cup toasted, skinned and chopped macadamia nuts, can sub hazelnuts too ($6.99)
Optional: a pinch of ground ginger and/or allspice

For the filling:
1/4 cup granulated sugar (see above)

2 lbs fresh mixed berries e.g. Trader Joe's berry medley, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries ($7.98)
About 6 oz. fresh cranberries ($1.99)

The Grand Total: $28.70 - kind of expensive if you have to buy everything, but hopefully you have some of the ingredients already. If you want to make it even cheaper, sub a different nut for the macadamias, or leave them out altogether.


First, make the topping. You can make it up to one day in advance and refridgerate it until you're ready to make the crisp. Toast the nuts for a few minutes (I did 4 minutes in the toaster oven) at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep an eye on them; they burn quickly! While the nuts are cooling, mix the flour, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a medium bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingers until topping resembles coarse meal. Mix in the nuts.

Preheat oven to 375 F. (190 C.)

For the filling, slice the strawberries, but leave all the other berries whole. In a bowl, mix them all with 1/4 cup of sugar, then dump them into a glass dish -- either a round pie dish or a square/rectangular casserole dish work. Cover the filling evenly with the topping.

Bake until bubbly and golden brown on top, about 50 minutes. Remove and serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.

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