Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Blueberry and Corn Crisp

I made a whole series of recipes with blueberries, and I’m sharing one below. I know blueberries aren’t exactly seasonal, but frozen blueberries can often be used instead of fresh, as is the case here, though obviously if you get your hands on farm-fresh blueberries next summer it would be ideal!

I started with vanilla custards with roasted blueberries, which were really very good, albeit not too photogenic.

Then I dove into a collection of recipes published in Bon Appétit last summer with various blueberry desserts. I made blueberry-buttermilk chess pie, for which I used corn flour instead of fine-grind cornmeal. It was delicious, but the flaw was that the only (fresh) blueberries available at the store were huge! I’d call them Texas-sized, but they were from Peru… Average sized blueberries would have been better, but I think the smaller Maine blueberries would have been best.

I also made glazed blueberry-blackberry turnovers. They were good, but my turnovers and hand pies rarely turn out to my liking – I think that it’s because I can never get the dough to roll out to the proper shape and size to make aesthetically pleasing pastries… I also need to work on the consistency of my glaze, I think.

The recipe I want to share, though, is their blueberry and corn crisp, which had the unique feature of being topped not just with cornmeal, but also with corn kernels. This was truly meant in a “this is a feature, not a bug” way, but it ruined the dessert for me. You see, everything tasted great, and I loved the cornmeal mixed with blueberries, but the hard, leathery texture of the corn kernels n the topping ruined the experience. This is why I’m omitting them from now on – it’s still a blueberry and corn crisp because of the cornmeal, and I think this is a better version.

For the filling
5 cups fresh (or frozen, thawed) blueberries
⅓ cup sugar
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. kosher salt

For the topping and assembly
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
⅔ cup coarse-grind cornmeal or polenta (I think I used medium-grind, though)
⅓ cup sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
10 Tbsp. chilled unsalted butter or margarine, cut into pieces

For the filling
Toss blueberries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, cornstarch, and salt in a shallow 2-qt. baking dish.

For the topping and assembly
Preheat oven to 375 °F. Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Using your hands, work butter into dry ingredients until no dry spots remain and mixture holds together when squeezed (I did this in the food processor). Press topping between your fingers and break into large pieces over filling.

Bake crisp until topping is golden brown and juices are thick and bubbling, 50–60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 30 minutes before serving.

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