When I saw the ingredients list for this months Royal Foodie Joust I knew immediately what I wanted to make. I have been putting together fruit Crisps and Crumbles for years and one of my all time favorites is the Apricot-Blueberry one. We are fortunate that we live in Oregon because of all the great berries (raspberries, strawberries, marionberries, blackberries, etc.) that are grown locally.
While I like fresh fruit, I think that when apricots and blueberries are cooked their flavors are actually enhanced. The apricot takes on a smoother texture and the blueberry adds a fresh acidity that provides balance. With this dessert the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I think that is called Synergy.
Since it was over 100 degrees yesterday (rare in Portland) it gave me a bit of a push to pull out my ice cream maker. When I was a kid we used to have to take turns cranking the ice cream freezer. As you can see a little technology has eliminated the need to conscript children into the process. While this does take some of the romance out of ice cream making, it leaves in all of the flavor.
Apricot - Blueberry Crumble
1 lb. Apricots-pitted and quartered
1 cup Blueberries
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. vanilla extract (or you can use a 1Tbsp. of dark rum in a pinch)
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup of flour
3/4 cup brown Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 lb. butter (one stick)
For the fruit go ahead and combine all the dry ingredients into a bowl, mix and then toss with the fruit and the vanilla extract. The fruit can sit in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to let the apricots and blueberries to macerate.
For the topping go ahead and add all the dry ingredients into a food processor and give a quick 2 second pulse. Add the butter in chunks (6-7 slightly softened chunks) and pulse for a second or two. Just barely incorporate the ingredients. The mixture should look like sawdust when it is done. This topping recipe will provide enough mixture for multiple crumble desserts. You can make a large batch and keep it in an airtight container in the freezer for when you need to throw together a quick dessert.
When you are ready to cook the crumble go ahead and put the fruit into a ramekin and top with the crumble mixture. Place the crumble into a 325 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. When done, pull and cool on the stove top for 10 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of the Ginger Ice Cream (recipe below)
Ginger Ice Cream
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup coarsely grated peeled fresh ginger root ( I go ahead and chop this to a fine mince)
2 tablespoons water
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl lightly whisk yolks. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook sugar, fresh ginger root, and water over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add half-and-half and bring to a simmer. Add hot half-and-half mixture to yolks in a slow stream, whisking, and pour into pan. Cook custard over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until a thermometer registers 170°F. (Do not let boil.)
Pour custard through a sieve into cleaned bowl and stir in cream and vanilla. Cool custard. Chill custard, its surface covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least 3 hours, and up to 1 day.
Freeze custard in an ice-cream maker. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.