Welcome to Simply Summer Week! All week long, I'll be featuring very simple recipes taking advantage of summer's bounty. ( God, is that marketing schmaltz, or what? Sorry.)
And since it's summer, I'll be taking Friday off. On to the first recipe!
A few years ago (actually, now that I think about it, five or six years ago - yikes) I enrolled in a cake baking course at the Institute of Culinary Education (at that time, Peter Kump's cooking school).
It was so up my alley: two, six hour days devoted to making sweets. Everyone was paired up and worked on two or three recipes out of the course packet. At the end of the day, you split your baked goods with your partner.
This was all well and good, unless another group was assigned something that you wanted to taste. Because, guess what? You were shit out of luck.
The recipe tasting that haunts me to this day -- the one I never got to sample, and never got around to making -- was the blueberry crumbcake bars. I lusted after them, saliva wetting my tongue but in that class, they were out of reach.
I had planned on finally making them this weekend. But my recipe binder, filled with all the wonderful lessons and notes from the ICE, is packed away for the move. Once again, the blueberry crumbcake bars proved elusive.
So I went online and I looked for, and found, a blueberry crumb bar recipe.
Then I went to Wegmans and discovered they're charging $3 for 6oz. of blueberries. So, $12 for blueberry crumb bars? No.
Once again, the blueberry bars proved elusive.
Instead, I bought blackberries and raspberries (cheaper for some reason) and used them instead.
The final result is a summery, baked good. The crumb is delicate, similar in flavor a shortbread. The berries were wonderful, bursting with flavor.
Raspberry Blackberry Crumb Jumbles
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
3 cups flour
1 cup shortening
¼ tsp. salt (optional)
½ tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)
2 cups fresh raspberries
2 cups fresh blackberries
1/2 cup white sugar
3 teaspoons cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 375-degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch pan. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and cinnamon, if desired. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the shortening and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
In another bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.