It’s not quite strawberry season yet, at least not around these parts, but there are times when I find myself food shopping and I can’t help but stare at the joyous, organic, red berries that constantly summon my attention with several winks and a price tag that reads “On SALE!” Sales are my weakness. And so are gorgeous-looking strawberries. And so is this strawberry crumble recipe.
Strawberries are possibly one of my most favorite fruit. Although they are available practically all-year-long in supermarkets and grocery stores across the country, when they’re not in season–usually–they’re practically good for nothing. They’re sometimes vile- both crunchy and sour, and lack in any strawberry flavor (that’s where this strawberry crumble comes in!). Some will disagree about my last statement but I did say usually; there are a handful of companies that do have great tasting organic strawberries year-round.
When I do find myself picking up a package or two of these glorious red berries that are lacking in the taste department, I most-often find myself baking them. Be it in a strawberry crumble or otherwise. And during strawberry season, rarely am I every interested in baking the marvelously sweet strawberries that I pick up from the farmers’ market– I’d much rather munch on them, toss them into a summery salad, or make jam to preserve their magnificent taste for when I need a burst of strawberry goodness during the dreary winter months.
Although this crumble is made with abominable, store-brought strawberries, the berry flavors are enhanced as they bake under a blanket of ground almonds, oats, and a buttery crumble topping freckled with poppy seeds. You may think that the berries might turn out as mushy, red-tinged sludge, but they don’t. Instead, they are baked into succulent, strawberrily-intense explosions of flavor.
When the strawberry crumble makes its way out of the oven, I try to amass all of my patience and let it cool on the counter for a few minutes before it makes its way onto the table, or into the refrigerator, where I let the flavors mingle for an hour or two. If my patience is nowhere to be found, I serve it straight out of the oven with a scoop or two of homemade vanilla gelato, and hope that the cool ice cream prevents mouth-burning.
When there’s some leftover, I spoon the rustic crumble into Weck jars and keep them in the refrigerator for midnight-snacking. Oh, how I adore this crumble.