Nobody Does It Better Berry Crumble

Blackberry Crumble2

Nobody does it better
Makes me feel sad for the rest
Nobody does it half as good as you
Baby, you’re the best
-Carly Simon

This time of year as temperatures rise over 90 degrees and our Saturday morning hikes are accompanied by mild cursing beneath our winded uphill breaths, there are exquisite, juicy rewards waiting for us at the end of the day. In the afternoon, after the sun has done its plumping of all the glories in our garden, I go into the backyard to pick strawberries and the Cute Gardener heads to the side of the house where berry brambles dance along the wooden fence. There, he chooses the fattest purple boysenberries, (or blackberries or raspberries on years when they are also abundant) bountiful and ripe, for an after dinner crumble that wins the prize as my all time favorite dessert.

Sure, there are dark chocolate ganaches in five star restaurants that make me quiver and butterscotch pot de crèmes always on menus to tantalize my tongue. Of course, there are also foie gras candy bars in indulgent Las Vegas supper clubs and tiny little macarons in rose, pistachio or Earl Grey flavors in Beverly Hills bakeries that never fail to call my name. But there is simply nothing more sublime than a simple berry crumble made in our kitchen by my man with the green thumb.

Blackberry Crumble

The CG has perfected the crumble, which differs from pies, tarts and cobblers in its very design. First, nothing more than a perfect pile of boysenberries mixed with a minimal amount of sugar, cornstarch and a zing of squeezed lemon is placed into a ramekin. Then a nice little dough beret of ground peanuts, pecans and brown sugar is made to place on top, that when baked turns into a crunchy, chewy crust. After a torturous hour or so of waiting for the crumble to cool, we dive in with two spoons and enjoy the decidedly peanut butter and jelly like goodness as warm berries pop in the mouth, swimming in a tart syrup that induces merriment.

With so many berries we are oftentimes prone to enjoy a crumble two nights in a row. It is a shame to freeze them, which we have to do in order to preserve the large harvest, so we feel perfectly validated in having more than our normal share of dessert during this seasonal period. I will be sad to see them go in another few weeks.

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