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Blackberry Lemon Crisp

By mid-week I had managed to eat all of the beautiful heirloom tomatoes and sweet nectarines I bought at the farmer’s market on Saturday, but I found myself left with a pint of flavorful but not-as-sweet-as-I-would-have-liked blackberries.  I didn’t want them to go to waste, but I didn’t really want to eat them.  I finally decided that all they really needed was a sweet, buttery, crumbly topping.

Wouldn’t it be great if all problems could be solved with sweet, buttery crumbs?

I used whole wheat flour in the topping because I enjoy the extra flavor it adds.  Whole wheat flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, and butter are an excellent combination – try using whole wheat pastry flour in your next batch of oatmeal cookies if you don’t believe me.  I also added lemon zest and a bit of cinnamon to the topping and it’s the hint of lemon that really makes this crisp something special.

This recipe makes a small batch – perfect for when you need a homemade dessert fix but don’t want to be tempted by too many leftovers.

Blackberry Lemon Crisp
adapted from Taste of Home
Serves 3-4

2 cups fresh or frozen and slightly defrosted blackberries
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 scant tablespoon + 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
pinch of salt
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons cold butter, chopped into small pieces

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Butter a 1-quart baking dish (or 3 6-oz individual baking dishes or 4 4-oz ramekins).

2. In a small bowl, toss together blackberries, lemon juice, sugar, scant tablespoon of flour, and small pinch of salt.  Pour berry mixture into a greased 1-quart baking dish or divide between 3 or 4 individual baking dishes or ramekins.

3. In a separate small bowl, stir together oats, 1/3 cup flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest.  Add pieces of cold butter and cut in using a pastry blender or two knives (or rub in with your fingertips) until crumbly.  Sprinkle topping over the berries.

4. Place baking dish(es) on a sheet pan and bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and topping is lightly browned.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.

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