I contribute my recent renewed enthusiasm to baking to being six-weeks pregnant (with my first child! Yay!) The next nine months should be quite fun, pickle pie? Anchovy cookies anyone? Just kidding - for now.
Last night in order to fulfill my dessert and baking needs I hit the web for some tasty recipes and when I couldn't find one on the web that seemed delicious enough I hit the many books on my Cooking bookshelf, and there in one of Ina Garten's cookbooks I found inspiration.
In Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa At Home Cookbook I looked over her recipe for her Peach & Blueberry Crumble dessert, and however great it would have been to make this exact recipe there were two problems: the first, I really had set my heart on an apple dessert (and you can't mess with a pregnant lady's dessert) and second, it's not peach season- so no peaches to be found... anywhere! And that's how I came to make the Apple Blueberry Crumble a la Mode instead.
With a scoop of cold vanilla bean ice cream the crumble is absolutely delicious! The fruit is not too sweet (thank goodness for this) because the crumble (which is heavenly) is sweet enough, the french vanilla ice cream gives it that creamy texture as well as a freshness to the entire dish (as all al mode dishes seem to be) but most importantly the french vanilla ice cream simply rounds out the whole dish, adding a little bit of sweetness to the fruit and taking a little bit of sweetness from the crumble- all in the best way possible.
For the fruit
1). Small green apples (Granny Smith) peeled, cored and sliced into wedges - make sure you have enough apples to fill your pie-plate or other bakeware. I mounded my apples slightly but this is optional.
2). 1/2 pint of blueberries
3). French Vanilla Ice Cream (you can go crazy and do homemade but I found that Trader Joe's Vanilla ice-cream totally does the trick)
4). 1/2 -1 tsp Cinnamon
5). Zest of 1/2 lemon
6). Juice of 3/4 of a lemon
7). 1/4 - 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
8). 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
9). Pinch of nutmeg
For the Crumble
1). 1 cup all-purpose flour
2). 1/3 cup granulated sugar
3). 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
4). 1/2 tsp kosher salt
5). 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
6). 1/4 pound (1 stick) gold unsalted butter, diced
1). In a large bowl toss the apples with cinnamon, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, flour and nutmeg.
2). Then carefully fold in the blueberries.
3). Allow the fruit mixture to sit for 5 minutes (I begin to preheat my oven to 350 degrees at this time, and also prepare my crumble which takes more than 5 minutes but that doesn't seem to really matter).
4). For the crumble, combine in large bowl the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and butter. If you have an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment you may want to bust it out at this time and mix the flour mixture on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. If you do not have an electric mixer, like me, grab a wooden spoon and start mixing.
5). Once the butter is the size of small peas, rub the mixture with your fingers, big crumbles will begin to form (or in my case, not so much, there were more little crumbs than big crumbles. I simple took a bit in my hands and squeezed it together to form clumps of crumbles- this is something you can do too if you're having a hard time with forming large crumbles by rubbing with your fingertips).
6). Pour the fruit mixture and it's juices into your bakeware.
7). Top the fruit with the crumble (I tried to get as much on there because I always love the bready parts of pies, the crumble is really fantastic so you'll want to put as much on there- just fyi).
8). Bake in the preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, if after 45 minutes you don't see juices bubbling then keep your pie in the oven for another 5-10 minutes (basically, you want to see juices bubbling, I found that if you take the pie out before juices are bubbling the apples although very hard may still be semi hard, so in order to insure softer apples wait until you see juices bubbling before you take the pie out, plus, your crumble should be golden brown- so if those two things haven't happened in 45 minutes than your pie can cook a little longer).
Serve with a large scoop of Vanilla ice-cream and get ready to say, "OMG, that totally hits the spot!"