Globe Thistle, July 2006.
Ack, today was busy, good busy, but busy nonetheless. I did get a chance to go out around 4 pm in the heat of the day to do my first blackberry pick of the year. We collect Nancy's half gallon yoghurt containers just for this purpose (usually from B, since she eats more yoghurt than us) and these get filled with some of the plumpest, sweetest and tastiest berries of the year. The smell of ripe berries, the bees, the lapping of the waves, oy what a way to end the work day.
Blackberries are my favorite berry. I have many fond associations with blackberries. The first recipe I ever published was for blackberry delight. I was in the 3rd grade at Three Points Elementary School on Evergreen Point and we each contributed a recipe for our class cookbook. I can't remember all the details, but I believe the recipe went something like" collect berries, add sugar, mush them together and add whipping cream and eat".
My recipes have a bit more structure to them now. I tend to still write them down on little pieces of paper and throw them into a notebook I take when we go to the Charlottes or when I lived in Rome. My crisp recipe adapted for Rome makes me smile when I see it. There were so many apples that fall and alpen meusli was cheap. We were desperate for a dessert to make and it was the easiest for all of us to make.
Blackberry crisp is much the same, simple and easy and a real crowd pleaser.
Adapated from Cooks Illustrated, sometime last century.
Blackberry crisp with a butter cookie topping
Pick some ripe berries (1 quart), rinse them and let the drain. Toss with sugar (1/3 cup) and 1 T of cornstarch. If you are inclined, add a bit of vanilla.
The topping I used tonight was one I hadn't tried in a while, but it was a keeper.
For a 8 * 8 pan, I combined 8 T butter softened, 1/2 cup of sugar and beat until soft. Then I added 1/2 t vanilla and 1/2 egg beaten. In a separate bowl, I combined 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 t baking powder and a pinch of salt. I mixed the dry ingredients with the wet and it made a soft dough.
Take the dough and sort of drop it on top of the crisp. It won't be even or pretty, but it should spread out.
Bake at around 25-35 minutes at 375 until golden brown and the blackberries burble.
This recipe is a keeper and I had any leftovers, I would happily have taken a picture.