The previous owners of our house were big into gardening. He was a horticulturist who had a huge greenhouse in the back yard, and she spent a lot of time in the 20′ x 60′ raised vegetable bed. Sadly, we don’t have nearly the green thumbs that they did, but through a combination of some education and quite a bit of dumb luck, we still have a few plants that are thriving.
In one corner of the vegetable bed we have a blackberry bush. No matter how much we cut it back (and boy do we!) it continues to send out shooters and produce beautiful blackberries.
We also discovered an apple tree near the back corner of the property last summer, but it was producing tiny hard apples. Wes cut it back this year, primarily because it was getting in the way of his mowing the yard, and that apparently allowed the branches that were left to thrive. Shortly before July 4, we noticed mid-sized apples.
So on July 4, I decided to make dessert from the produce in our garden. First I went online and found a recipe for an Apple Crisp. I looked at quite a few and finally settled on this one from Simply Recipes. I mostly picked it for its simplicity – I like recipes that use basic ingredients that feel fresh. Then I added a few things from my own kitchen and yard.
Apple Blackberry Crisp
- 7 tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- Added blackberries from garden
- Added pecans to topping
- Added a dash of nutmeg
- Extra apples because they were smaller
Preheat the oven to 375.
I started by peeling and coring the apples. The first time I made this dessert, I used a paring knife but I was reminded of a great tool I used as a child when making applesauce with my grandmother. I did a little internet searching and lo and behold, Williams Sonoma makes one!
Once the apples are cored, peeled and cut, you add them to a bowl with lemon juice and vanilla:
Once the apples were coated, I layered them in a 9 x 12 baking dish and then added the blackberries on top.
Next I mixed up the topping. I combined the oats, brown sugar and cinnamon (and added a dash of nutmeg, and a small bag of crushed pecans) and then cut the butter into the dry mixture:
Then I sprinkled the mixture over the fruit, trying to coat it evenly:
Then it was into the oven. I baked the crisp for 45 minutes, until the top browned slightly and the fruit juices bubbled.
I was tempted to serve the dessert warm (which I’m sure would be fabulous), but we ate it after watching fireworks, at room temperature with French vanilla ice cream.