This past weekend I told you about the giant Grand Canyon of a pothole that exists outside of my little house here in New Orleans. This city is notorious for its epic (sometimes oyster-filled or Mardi Gras decorated) potholes, so my cavernous situation is nothing special.
I’m happy to report that I’ve filled the hole with strawberry crumble and problem solved.
Kidding. That would be entirely ineffective.
I made this crumble-bake hybrid on Sunday afternoon, popped it in the oven and took a peek outside my front window to investigate a curious scrapping sound I heard out front. The sound was my neighbors pulling various rocks and bricks from around the street into the pothole. The rest of my afternoon was spent gathering stones and gravel with the neighbors to fill the canyon. At some point someone was arguing with a police officer, at another point we were all drinking beers, at the end, a driver drove over our work and said thank you. I took the crumble out of the oven and brought my neighbors a big portion, still warm, with lightly whipped cream. Sounds like a happy ending… though I feel like we’ll need to do the same work again next weekend. Maybe I’ll make a pie.
These are the first strawberries of my Who Ate All The Berries Season. It’s starts now and it starts strong. These strawberry gems were a gift from my new friend Martine who knew that these Louisiana local strawberries would be baked into something sweet and right. I paid her in White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies, and got to hold her two month old baby… so really, it was a pretty great day. If only I could always pay people in cookies and snuggle-smell their babies.
The strawberries are hulled (that just means you cut the tops off), and sliced into quarters. Smaller strawberries can be cut in half. It’s not terribly complicated. Do what you feel.
This recipe can come together even without a recipe. Crumbles tend to be forgiving and most always delicious.
Equal parts flour and brown sugar. Oats, too… just slightly less than the flour and sugar. Butter, cold and just less than a stick. Little spoonful of ground cinnamon. Big pinch of salt.
The crumble topping is smash-mash by hand operation into a crumbly mixture, with big chunks of cold butter still present in the mixture.
Pistachios are coarsely chopped and tossed into the crumble. Pecans would be lovely too. You can also just leave out the nuts if you’re not the nutty sort.
Deep red, ripe strawberries need little else to make their beauty shine.
We’re gilding the lily just a bit.
The sliced strawberries are sprinkled with brown sugar for added sweetness and cornstarch to thicken the strawberry juice as it bakes. I also added 3 or 4 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice because I wanted to tart up the strawberries.
When the strawberries, sugar, and lemon have been left to sit for a few minutes, they’ll get juicy. A handful of crumble topping is stirred into the fruit for added thickness and to help meld the flavors and the rest is piled generously on top.
Baked to bubbling and extra juicy.
Served sweet and warm, with soften fruit, thicken strawberry juice, and soft whipped cream.
It’s a beautiful prelude to Summer, and a fine way to honor your neighbors.Print
For the Strawberry Filling
- 2 1/2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced into quarters
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons lightly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- pinch of salt
For the Pistachio Topping
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped, roasted and salted shelled pistachios
- To make the filling, in a deep pie dish toss together sliced strawberries, lemon juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt until the strawberries are coated and the cornstarch has disappeared. Set aside.
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- To make the topping, in a medium bowl toss together flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and salt. Add the butter cubes and, using your fingers, break the butter into the dry ingredients creating some butter cubes that are the size of peas, others the size of oat flakes. Stir in the chopped pistachios.
- Add a handful of of crumble mixture to the strawberries and stir. Add the remaining topping atop the strawberry mixture.
- Bake for 30 minutes until strawberries are softened and mixture is bubbling.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes until warm and serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
- Serving Size: 6