Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Strawberry Amaretti Crisp

Walking past the produce stand last night was like a trip back in time to the 1920s Ziegfeld Follies: all the strawberries were glamorously and gloriously lined up, on display, showing off, looking coquettish and sweet. Those little tarts.

While I prefer my strawberries unadorned and raw in all their luscious juiciness, I decided to bake with some of them since I had so many on hand. I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Small Batch Baking. I love that all the dessert recipes serve just one or two. Here, sliced berries fill a small baking dish, are topped with a crunchy, almond-cinnamon crumb topping and baked to a golden brown crisp. The warm, gooey fruit with the buttery crunchy topping is other-worldly. Trust me. I adapted a few ingredients to my taste (and hopefully yours too!). Since the peak-season strawberries are so sweet and succulent right now, they don’t need as much sugar as the original recipe calls for. So I cut the amount in half, resulting in a perfectly thick, amorously sweet filling that's just-juicy-right.

This dessert is so fun and flirty, I’m tempted to rename it after some fabulous flapper from the Follies. Maybe something along the lines of Strawberry Stella For Star!
or Luscious Lulu!
or Clara Bow Crisp!
On second thought, forget it. Like most Follies girls, this little number’s just too unique to name…

STRAWBERRY AMARETTI CRISP

Ingredients:

Unsalted butter for greasing the baking dish

FOR THE FRUIT:
1 ½ cups quartered strawberries
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
Pinch salt

FOR THE TOPPING:
¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbs. sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup crushed amaretti cookies, into coarse crumbs (but I used whole wheat almond biscotti, which I like better)

One 2 or 2 ½ cup gratin dish, oven proof soup bowl or other baking dish

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease baking dish lightly with a bit of unsalted butter.

2. Arrange strawberries in the bottom of baking dish.

3. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the strawberries.

4. In the same bowl (now empty) place the flour, sugar, cinnamon and whisk to combine. Stir in the amaretti cookies. Add the butter and, with your fingers or a fork, combine until the whole topping looks like coarse crumbs.

5. Sprinkle this topping evenly all over the strawberries. Place in the heated oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the strawberries are thickened and bubbly.

6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. This will ensure the strawberries will set a little bit and offer a wonderful, luscious filling.

7. Serve as is, warm, room temperature, with ice cream, whipped cream, a drizzle of half & half…the possibilities are endless. The end result is divine.

3 comments:

Richard212 said...

Can you ship that? :) Looks delicious

flappergirl said...

You know I will hand-deliver, locally :)

Jessica Martiele said...

It's been too long...better get reading! (And cooking, because this looks FABULOUS! BREAK OUT THE STRAWBERRIES!!!)

 
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