It would seem that we have all fallen into a trap of blogging predictability. Maybe everyone is baking the same things right now, and maybe I should try to defy my natural cravings and give you a recipe for homemade kelp chips… I could do that. I could sprinkle some nutritional yeast over them and say that they taste just like Cheetos. Maybe it would end up being a nominee for the most popular pin for vegans. Maybe.
The reason I have not done that (other than the glaring fact that it sounds positively revolting), is that this ever-changing, but occasionally predictable, site is like my brain come to life, except less stressful and with pretty pictures. I share with you the things that make me happy, whether they be cream puffs or new lipstick, and that means that sometimes I will just be making a variation on whatever everyone else is making, because we are all craving the same things right now.
This week, my cravings, and the surplus of berries at the market, told me to make something sweet, berry-filled, and crunchy-topped - and I obliged. And, hackneyed or not, it was absolutely delightful.
This site’s purpose is not to convince you that I make the best corn in the world (even though I might suspect so), or that you simply must use my recipes. The purpose is simply to inspire you, and to maybe remind you of how satisfying it is to toss some berries with sugar and cornstarch, pinch some butter into oats, nuts, and sticky brown sugar, and watch it turn into a bubbling, golden brown dessert.
If my imperfect pictures or rambling words tempt you to get into your kitchen and create, then I will consider it a success.
Let’s talk about this crisp, or crumble, or bake - whatever you would like to call it. Rolled Oat & Pecan-Blanketed Strawberry Compote? Sure, if you are feeling pretentious and fancy.
If you asked me what I consider to be the best dessert for summertime I will always say crisps. I love them because they celebrate the flavors of the season, require very minimal effort, and they can be served hot or at room temperature - making them the perfect choice for company.
Toss some fruit together a few minutes before your guests arrive and let this bake while you eat dinner, then serve warm with ice cream. Everyone loves crisps, and if they don't, well…why did you invite them over anyways?
While crisps could certainly stand on their own, they are really the only dessert that I feel almost demands ice cream. It pains me to have ice cream with my cake - like, why? And brownies are far better as a solo act, but crisps... Well, they just beg for it.
And I am nothing if not accommodating - so accommodating, in fact, that I dreamed up a special ice cream expressly for this crisp. How generous.
Enter buttermilk cream cheese ice cream. I called my fiancé after tasting it and between an obnoxious number of “oohs” and “ahhhs” I described it as an ultra creamy frozen yogurt. It has the same tang of yogurt due to the buttermilk, but the cream cheese gives it a very sweet, rich flavor that only cream can provide. It has made regular ol’ vanilla ice cream very pallid in my mind.
Warm strawberries with a toffee-like crust meet tangy, indulgent ice cream.
Just look at that crispy crust.
There is nothing wrong with the classics, not one thing.
Strawberry Crisp with Buttermilk Cream Cheese Ice Cream
for the ice cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl until they have slightly lightened in color. Set aside.
Combine milk and sugar in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Stirring often, cook until the milk is steaming, and the sugar has completely dissolved.
Slowly stream half of the steaming milk mixture into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Pour the tempered egg yolks back into the saucepan and return to heat. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture has thickened slightly; about 3-5 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour the ice cream base into your blender. Add buttermilk, cream cheese, and vanilla and blend until smooth.
Fill a large bowl 2/3 of the way with ice and cool water and place the ice cream base in a medium bowl that will fit inside the larger bowl.
Place the ice cream bowl into the ice bath and whisk constantly until the custard is cool.
Place the base in your ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the soft ice cream to the freezer to set up while you prepare the crisp.
for the filling
- 5 cups strawberries, sliced
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place strawberries in an 8x8 glass baking pan. Sprinkle with cornstarch, sugar, and lemon juice and toss to coat
Set aside while you prepare the topping.
for the topping
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup old fashion rolled oats
- 1/4 cup whole raw pecans, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
Combine flour, sugar, salt, oats, and pecans in a small bowl. Use the tips of your fingers to work the butter into the flour mixture, forming a rough crumble.
Sprinkle the crumble on top of the strawberry filling.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the strawberries are bubbling and the crumble is deep golden.
Place on a wire rack and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. This will give the filling time to set up a bit.
Serve warm with ice cream. Enjoy!!