Sunday, March 6, 2011

Homemade Weekends

   Hey look it's a food post!  I haven't had much time for cooking lately, and when I have I haven't been remembering to document the process.  Ooops.  So to make up for it I have lots of pictures for you tonight.
   Recently I had some apples and cranberries that I needed to use before they went bad.  And I was craving crumble.  The solution seemed pretty obvious to me.  Hence Cranberry Apple Raisin Crumble was made.  Why raisins too?  I had them, they're tasty, and they give a little sweetness to the counter-act the tart from the apple and cranberry. 
   I started by making a compote with the fruit.

  Compotes are easy.  Basically just simmer the fruit with a little bit of sugar, I used half a cup, and liquid, no real measurement here but probably about 3/4 to 1 cup, until the fruit is tender and the liquid has thickened.  You may need to add a bit of cornstarch slurry to fully thicken the liquid.  Instead of water, I used a spiced cranberry cider for my liquid component and also to make the cornstarch slurry.  This also added just the right amount of spice flavor.  Once cooked, about 30 minutes or so, let cool for a little while then pour into an 8x8 baking pan.

   While I was waiting for the compote to cool enough to pour into my glass pan, to avoid cracking the pan, I made the crumble topping.  Again, a really easy thing to make.  I used this recipe for streusel topping, doubled, but you can use any type of crumb topping you'd like.  I'm just a big fan of streusel on desserts.  Dump all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and prepare to get your hands dirty.  The best way to combine the ingredients and create multiple sizes of crumbs is with your hands.  I recommend removing all jewelry before doing this.  And make sure your butter is softened.  Now some before and after photos of the topping.

   Once the compote is in the baking pan, cover with an even layer of the crumb topping.

   Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes.  Or until the topping is golden brown and the compote is bubbling up on the edges.  As a precaution, I place the dish on a foil lined cookie sheet in the oven to catch any potential spill over.  I don't know about you, but personally I don't want to clean baked on fruit goo out of my oven.

   Once the crumble is finished baking, let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.  This is to prevent scalding your mouth with the napalm like filling straight out of the oven.  To serve, scoop into a bowl...

   Top with vanilla ice cream.  Or cinnamon ice cream if you prefer/have it...

   And enjoy.  The possibilities of combinations for the fruit filling are almost endless.  Use what you like and is in season.  You can even make the compote whenever your favorite fruit is in season and can or freeze it for use on a cold winter day.

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