Blackberry Crumble: A Sweet Taste of Childhood

By Christina Elston

fun summer activities

Executive Pastry Chef Katie Shyne of Taste on Melrose says bakers can relax with her Spiced Blackberry Crumble recipe, which is great to make with kids. PHOTO COURTESY TASTE ON MELROSE

Katie Shyne of Taste on Melrose shares fond memories and a Spiced Blackberry Crumble recipe.

Doesn’t blackberry picking with your mom sound like a delicious way to spend a morning? Katie Shyne, executive pastry chef at Taste on Melrose, brings her childhood memory and a childhood favorite recipe to life in this Spiced Blackberry Crumble. “It’s one of the first things I learned how to make when I was a little kid,” says Shyne, whose mother was an avid gardener and grew fruit year round.

This is baking at its easiest. Measurements need not be exact, and you can adjust the recipe to your taste. Add a little less sugar if you don’t want it so sweet, or more or less topping. (This version is topping-heavy, because that was Shyne’s favorite part when she was a kid.) “Just relax and have fun,” urges Shyne. Crumbles are also great to make with kids, though Shyne’s 1-year-old son is still too young for baking. “He had a lot of fun eating the berries as I was making this,” she says.

You can use any berry you like except strawberries (which don’t cook up nicely in this), and you can change up the spices, adding fresh ginger or something else. You can even change the shape or size of the dish, as long as you have enough filling, enough topping and bake it long enough.

“I think sometimes people get stressed about baking stuff, but it’s really not that hard,” Shyne says. If you’re serving the crumble warm (with ice cream, which is Shyne’s favorite way), let it cool for 15 minutes or so after baking. Or you can serve it room temperature or chilled.

Spiced Blackberry Crumble

Topping

  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup melted butter

Filling

  • 6 cups ripe blackberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients for the topping together. Pour the melted butter over the dry ingredients and toss together until completely mixed. Set aside.

Put all of the filling ingredients except the butter into a bowl and toss gently. Pour this mixture into a casserole dish or a 9×9 glass baking dish. It will be very full. Drop small pieces of butter on top of the fruit mixture. Spread the topping evenly over the entire dish. Stick the crumble into the preheated oven and bake until the fruit is bubbling through the topping. Cooking time is 45 minutes to one hour, depending on the dish.

*To make sure your oven stays clean, put a sheet pan or baking sheet under the crumble to catch any drips.

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