The weather here has been warm. Too warm. At least to my wonky internal thermostat (Charlie seems to be freezing all the time). The heat has made me reluctant to embark on any ambitious baking project, so I've been relying on hearty, rustic desserts that can be thrown together in minutes (like the bread pudding). That way I can get back to lounging around under the ceiling fan as quickly as possible.
One of the quickest and most satisfying desserts to make is a crisp. I owe all of my crisp knowledge and experience to my very dear and longtime friend, Alyssa. She made sure we were all well fed with healthy homemade goodies those four years of college when it was possible to eat half a pound of pasta, half a pepperoni pizza, and whole pint of Ben & Jerry's in one evening without threatening the waistline. Ahhhh, those were the days. Anyway, this is based on her fantastic and wonderfully nostalgic recipe for blueberry crisp. I added pecans because I've spent entirely too much time in the South and thus I always have pecans hanging around the kitchen. I added nutmeg because I just got a brand new tin from Tsp Spices and felt like breaking it open. The best part of this recipe is that is results in a nice, thick, generous crisp topping. No skimpy sprinklings here.
Alyssa's Generous Blueberry Crisp
3 cups frozen blueberries (small ones are best, I used the organic wild blueberries from Wholes Foods)
1 tbsp lemon juice (lemon is so nice with blueberries, but I didn't have any lemons, so I left this out)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar (I think I used 1/2 cup, actually)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8-1/4 tsp nutmeg (I eyeballed... but you never want to overdo nutmeg... not good)
1/3 cup canola oil
5 to 6 drops almost extract (mine doesn't drop, it gushes... I guess I added a "splash")
A handful or two of chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread berries unthawed into a small baking dish (8"x8" pan or 1 1/2-2 quart souffle dish). Sprinkle lemon juice over the berries.
In a mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, and spices. Mix. Pour oil and almond extract and mix thoroughly. Add the pecans and stir. Sprinkle mixture on blueberries. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until berries are bubbling and top is brown
(post title from Charles Dickens)