Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Make these for Valentine's Day!

I promise to be back here in time for Valentine's with some kind of cute heart-shaped dessert (like last year :), but just in case you are looking for something easy for Valentine's Day or anyday, try this recipe. I swear. Its not rocket science or anything - I make these all the time because I always have the ingredients and they take about 15 minutes. I've discovered that even people who think desserts without chocolate are not really dessert will eat it (and secretly love it!).

Individual Fruit Crumb Pies
Note: directions are more like guidelines rather than strict instructions; feel free to add whatever fruit combinations delight you and add other fun ingredients to the crumb topping. It all tastes good, I promise (although if you add something totally disgusting, the credit is all yours :)

Ingredients (for 4 mini-pies)
Assortment of prepared fruit (diced, chopped, or whole, depending on type): 2 apples (chopped), handful of strawberries (diced), handful of blackberries (halved) and a few blueberries (whole)
Squeeze of lemon juice

1 prepared pie crust, rolled and cut into 4 equal pieces (store-bought or homemade dough is fine)

Crumb topping:
1/4 cup flour
1/4 sugar
1/2 stick of cold butter
Few tbsps of brown sugar
Handful of oats

1. Preheat oven to about 425 degrees.

2. Prepare fruit and place in a bowl; add squeeze of lemon juice so apples don't turn brown. Set aside.

3. Prepare bottom crust by rolling the dough into a circle (about 10-inch diameter or so should be fine, maybe about 1/8-inch or a bit better thick). Cut into four equal pieces. Fit each piece of dough into a ramekin. Now, these are not supposed to be perfect looking - since the dough piece is not a circle or perfect square, the edges will be varied. Some corners will flop over, some won't reach the top, it really doesn't matter - but if it matters to you, feel free to trim the sides or cut the pieces to better fit your containers. I won't give you a hard time :). Also, if your containers deviate from the average ramekin, make sure you review what size your dough circle needs to be so that you have enough to fit your container. Or make 2 instead of 4 ramekins.

4. Ok, now we're ready for the crumb topping. Super easy - add all dry ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine. Make a small dice out of the cold butter and add to the bowl. Use your fingers to form the mixture into small crumbs. Don't overmix because the butter will get too warm and you'll be left with something that does not resemble crumbs :).

5. Assembly - after you have the bottom crust in each ramekin, fill each with the fruit mixture and top with a handful of the crumbs. You will see a bit of fruit peeking out, but it should be mostly covered.

6. Bake until brown and fruit is bubbling - I've baked these anywhere from 12-25 minutes depending on the size of the ramekin, oven type and crumb/fruit mixture. Keep your eye on them and if the crust starts to get more brown then you'd like, put a bit of foil around the edges to prevent further browning.


Joelen said...

These look delicious and your pictures are gorgeous!

geri said...

omg i have to make these! yum!

Colleen said...

Oooh individual crumb pies - one of my favorite desserts! Now I just have to find some fresh berries that don't cost me an arm and a leg!

Jade said...

I hear you Colleen!! I usually don't buy berries in the winter, but we've had a great stash of berries from California in our markets here for super cheap...hopefully you can find some!!

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