Thursday, 2 August 2012

Saskatoon Time

One of the many pleasures of living on our acreage is being bordered on two sides by forest, including wild saskatoon trees and raspberry bushes.  Last year, the mosquitos were so awful that I only picked 1 cup of saskatoon berries in total...the whole summer!  That was very disappointing as the recipe I found and made in 2010 for saskatoon crisp required 5 cups.  This year, to my delight, the weather around here in spring and summer has produced a plentiful crop of large purple berries, and the mosquitos aren't bad at all as long as you're covered up by sundown.  I did have an unpleasant encounter with a few red ants when I forgot about the ant infestation around our wood box.  Literally, I had ants in my pants!  Not fun, I tell you, and I only had three on me in total and received one nasty bite.
Two years ago, when I found the delightful recipe from which I produced this...

 ...I decided to bookmark the web page, saving paper.  If you don't know me personally, I try very hard to recycle and conserve resources.  This time, however, my efforts BACKFIRED!  The recipe is no longer posted.  Perhaps they got nailed for copyright...  Lesson learned:  Print one copy of worthy recipes.

I looked around at other recipes (grumble, grumble).  Most are very similar for Saskatoon Crisp: basically, a whack of berries mixed with a wee bit o' white sugar, covered with a mixture of equal parts flour, brown sugar, oats, and cold butter.  If you are blessed with lots of berries and favourable conditions (e.g. bug-free, reasonable temperature), go for a double batch.  This recipe is for a single batch, though, just so no one feels they are an inadequate s'k'toon picker.  It's okay.  Some years are just like that.  The further the dessert fits up the dish, the better it looks, I think!  And if you are a crispy topping-lover like me, you might even want to double the topping for a single recipe; when I made a double batch (8 cups of berries) in a 9" x 13" pan, double-and-a-half the topping worked out well.

Here is my version of Saskatoon Crisp:

Preheat your oven to 350 F/ 180 C. 

Berry Bottom
4  cups   saskatoons          1  L
1/4 cup  white sugar        60 mL

Mix these two ingredients and spread in an 8" x 8" pan or small round French White casserole. 

Notes:  *If you bake it in a stoneware casserole, it'll be purplish-brown afterward.  I'm sure it'll
             come off in time, plus your food usually covers it up anyway.
           *Some recipes recommend adding 2 tsp./10mL lemon juice to the saskatoons and sugar;
             the acid is supposed to help the berry juice thicken but I didn't notice much of a
             difference between the two versions once they had cooled off.

1/2 cup   flour               125 mL
1/2 cup   brown sugar    125 mL
1/2 cup   rolled oats       125 mL (not instant - I like the Large Flake so the top is crunchy and
                                                                 chewy, but quick oats would work, too)
Stir these together in a medium bowl. 

Cut 1/2 cup (125 mL) cold butter into small cubes (1/2" / 1 cm-ish).  Use a pastry blender, a potato masher, your clean hands, two butter knives, Mix 'N Chop tool, or whatever else works for you to mix the butter with the other topping ingredients until you have the often-quoted recipe phrase "butter is the size of small peas." 

           Saskatoons + Sugar                        Nice & deep in the pan           Butter pretty much the size of small peas  ;-)

Pour your topping mixture over the saskatoons and give it a little love-pat all around.  It shows you care, like tucking the blankets around your children at night; it's just the right thing to do.

Bake on the center rack until the delicious juices are bubbling up out of the crust and the topping is nicely browned, about 30-45 minutes. 

*Note: If your mixture is nearing the top of the dish, place a large cookie sheet underneath so it doesn't make a big mess on the bottom of your over if/when it bubbles over.

                                   Before                                                                       After
Juicy deliciousness!

Let it cool for at least 30 minutes so the juices thicken a bit.  If you can't wait that long, it'll be quite liquidy on the bottom, but equally delicious when the juices mingle with some vanilla ice cream!

I appreciate that you made an initial or return visit to my island.  Now back outside to pick more saskatoons! 


P.S.  I actually am, right after I post this. I'm all about the honesty; my mother's excellent detective skills discouraged me from fibbing at a young age.  I learned she'd always find out so it was better just to try to be good and honest in the first place!  I love you, Mom! ;-)

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog! I will follow you anywhere! You are such a great cook!


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