….and a whole lot delicious!
We are talking baked strawberries. Warm, bubbling berries topped with sweet, crunchy crumble. With sticky, ruby juices oozing out, ahhh. And graced by a generous scoop of soft melting vanilla ice cream. Oh boy!
It’s so easy to make and pretty darn good. A warm, rustic dessert with notes of vanilla, cinnamon and caramelized sugar. Yummy.
Summer is at its peak here—scorching hot mornings and sweltering muggy evenings. With temperatures soaring in the range of 46-48oC so far. Oh yea, the heat is getting unbearable and the energies draining. What more? Hmm, Ramadan is around the corner, and Fall is still so far away.
So, what’s special about summer? Something that brings a smile to your face, makes you savor every minute? I mean, besides, flip-flops, bikini, hammock in the beach or refreshing frozen treats.
To me, it’s the stunning beauty of lush green leaves and fragrant, colorful blooms. There’s nothing more inspiring than the beauty of flourishing nature—it’s so soothing and fascinating. And then, I love picking fresh blooms from the garden to create lovely centerpieces.
Summer, to me, means deejay workouts. Yep. The higher the temperatures and the faster the tempo, the more I’m inspired to sweat off inches. Er…to work towards a rocking body. Well, a girl can dream, right? That's the magic of summer!
Besides, summer spells vacation. Oh boy, vacation. A time to slip away and escape from the daily routine. Now, if only I could escape to a special place. An exotic faraway destination. A foreign city. If only.
Finally, let’s not forget the bountiful gift of summer—sweet sensational fruits. Especially, berries.
Yes, berries. One of summer’s simple pleasures and best-loved flavor.
I’m a fan of all berries, but I do heart strawberries. Thank God they are low cal, as I simply love biting into the small, sweet, juicy ones. Or bathing them in melted chocolates for an indulgent treat. They are so versatile, don’t you agree?
Since I can’t take pleasure in strawberry picking from farms, at least not while living in Qatar, I’m always pleased to see them stacked in the supermarket shelves. And I never miss an opportunity to include them in my weekly shopping list.
This week I was in a mini baking mood, and my heart was aching for a chilled dessert as well. That’s when I thought crumble—a delicious foundation for a scoop (or two) of soft frozen ice cream.
A spoonful of crumble anyone?
(inspired by Food Love’s Delicious Crumbles & Cobblers)
250g strawberry, hulled and halved
3 tablespoon caster sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, cut open lengthwise and seeds removed
¼ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup rolled oats
¼ cup demerara sugar (light brown sugar), plus extra for sprinkling
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon flaked almonds
3 tablespoon butter
vanilla ice cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 400oF/200oC.
In a bowl, toss the berries with the sugar and vanilla, and then divide evenly between 4 small ovenproof ramekins or ceramic baking dishes. Bake for 5 minutes.
To make the topping, combine flour, oats and butter in a mixing bowl, and rub in butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in almonds, sugar and cinnamon with a fork.
Scatter the topping evenly over the strawberries, keeping your touch light so that the crumble does not sink into the filling and go mushy. Scatter a bit more sugar on top. Place dishes on an oven tray (to catch any drips) and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the crumble topping is crisp and pale gold, the fruit tender, and you can see some rub juices bubbling and seeping out at the edges.
Remove from oven and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you like.
You don’t necessarily have to use the same fruits and topping. Have fun experimenting with different ingredients in your kitchen. Try blueberries, raspberries, apples, peaches or a combo. Also try using different nuts such as chopped hazelnuts, pistachios or walnuts in the crumble. And finally serve with ice cream, custard or heavy cream.
All in all, this’s an effortless but refreshing yummy way to end your meals. Rustic and comforting to the core. Well then, indulge!