Blueberries are one of my husband’s favorite fruits and in the summertime we’ve always got a pint (or two or three) in the refrigerator. Thing is, they have a limited shelf life the later it gets in the season. So while they’ll usually last a week in the fridge in the beginning of summer… toward the end their freshness and snap — wanes. Scott is the first to notice their decline since he regularly tops his morning yogurt with a handful of blueberries. When they begin to get soft, he lets me know with a “We need to do something with these berries, they’re starting to go.” Hence this Blueberry Lemon Almond Crisp.
In my experience, the best thing to do with berries that are just past their prime is to heat them until they burst and leak their juice to make a luscious compote. Desserts like this are nirvana to me. Can there be anything better than a gooey warm fruit filling with a crumbly sweet topping? I think not! And assembly is quick and easy — which just makes it that much better!
The crumble topping is a simple mix of brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and butter with a little lemon zest and a handful of sliced almonds thrown in for extra crunch. Use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients and add the almonds last.
Cook the berries with sugar, lemon juice and zest, just until the berries start to burst and turn a beautiful rosy purple color, then stir in the slurry of water and cornstarch to thicken the mixture.
Fill the ramekins with the blueberries and sprinkle on the topping. That’s it! I strongly recommend placing a sheet of parchment paper over the baking sheet, because if/when the fruit expands it can overflow the sides and make cleanup a pain. Let the crisps cool for about 15 minutes before serving – you don’t want the lava-like fruit to burn the roof of your mouth – take it from someone who knows!
Blueberry Lemon Almond Crisp
For the crisp
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
For the blueberry filling
- 2 1/2 cups blueberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons water
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 375°.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the chunks of butter and work them into the flour mixture with your finger tips until well combined and crumbly. Add the sliced almonds and work them into the crisp so that they're evenly distributed. Set aside.
In a small prep bowl, stir together the water and cornstarch to form a slurry. Set aside.
In a small saucepan add the blueberries, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice, stir and heat over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves and mixture starts to bubble. Add the slurry and cook for one minute until mixture thickens.
Transfer the blueberry mixture into four 1/2-cup ramekins. Top the blueberry filling with crumbles of the crisp topping.
Cover a baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper. Set the ramekins on the baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.