Summer Berry Apple Crumble

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to go berry pickin’. Growing up my grandparents had a blueberry bush out back, and I could strip that thing in no time flat {some even ended up back in the kitchen too}.  When I was living in Athens {Georgia, not Greece}, my friends and I would head over to Washington Farms to get our fill of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries! This would of course lead to lots of strawberry margaritas, blueberry pancakes, and berry salads for the following week. Despite our efforts, we could never quite manage to use all of them up before they would start going off and we had to drink a crazy amount of smoothies. {not complaining.} In retrospect, maybe we just shouldn’t have picked as much, but that thought never occurred to me then. I viewed it as a challenge, and I wish I’d had this recipe up my sleeve. You can use pretty much any berry you have on hand and it requires hardly any prep. Thats my kind of dessert!

Summer Berry Apple Crumble

{inspired by a recipe in one of Zane’s cookbooks Kiwi Favourites}

The Fruit
1 granny smith apple
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup blackberries
1/2 cup strawberries
2 Tbsp brown sugar

The Crumble
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
1/4 cup butter, cubed and cold

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.

Peel your apple and cut it into 1 inch cubes. Core your strawberries and cut them in halves or quarters {depending on the size}. Wash the other berries and throw all the fruit in a bowl. Sprinkle in the brown sugar and give it all a stir. Set the bowl to the side and let it sit for a bit while you make the crumble.

If you have a food processor, this is going to be a walk in the park. If you don’t… Why don’t you go grab a food processor? Toss all of the crumble ingredients in the food processor and process until the butter is incorporated and its crumbly. Simple. As. That. {If you don’t have access to a food processor, you can work the butter in using a fork or pastry cutter. I also recommend using slivered almonds instead of whole if you’re going this route. You can thank me later.}

Grease a pie dish {I used a 6 inch one}, and pour your berry mixture in. Sprinkle the crumble over the top, and pop it in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the crumble has browned a bit and looks crispy!

Serve it hot with some frozen yogurt or whipped cream.

Kiwi+Peach: Summer Berry Apple CrumbleLinked to Fresh Food Wednesdays.

 

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Summer Berry Spritz with Rosemary Simple Syrup

As a rule, the Kiwi and I are not big house drinkers. I’m not saying we never have the occasional beer or glass of wine at home, but we are more likely to imbibe if we’re out at a restaurant or on vacation. {Which kind of goes hand in hand with eating out…but I digress.}

The exception to this is when we have company. Much like a starter or a dessert, I think that the beverage selection you offer can really make an impact on the meal. Don’t worry, water and sweet tea are almost always on tap too, but what I really love is trying out new cocktails on our unsuspecting guests. I’m sure our friends think we’re lushes. Last week, I whipped up this sucker when we were having a friend over for dinner before a concert. The weather has been beautiful and our herb garden {especially the rosemary} was getting unruly, so I thought I’d throw some in. It was perfect with our black bean burgers and fruit salad dessert with coconut whipped cream.

Kiwi+Peach: Summer Berry Spritz with Rosemary Simple Syrupphoto by the Kiwi

Summer Berry Spritz with Rosemary Simple Syrup

The Syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
5 sprigs of rosemary

The Fruit
1/2 of a lemon
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup strawberries

The Booze
1/2 a bottle of a dry white wine {I used a dry Riesling because I’m in Germany.}
1/2 cup of clear rum {I used Bacardi}
2 cans of San Pelligrino Limonata {Really any lemon lime soda is fine. I’m just being pretentious. }

Boil your jug and start heating a medium size pot on medium heat. Measure your sugar and add it to the pot along with the water and the rosemary. Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Bring it to a boil, then take it off the heat and remove the rosemary.

Next, get to prepping the fruit. Thinly slice your lemon. Wash and core your strawberries, slicing them in half {or quarters depending on some} when finished. Wash your blueberries. Add all the fruit to a pitcher, and then add the simple syrup.

Now you’re ready for the good stuff, the booze. Pour half the bottle of wine in your pitcher and add the rum. Give it all a stir and then put it in the fridge for a couple of hours or until it’s nice and cold. Just before you’re ready to serve, add the Limonata and stir well.

I find the easiest way to pour it up is to spoon some fruit in the glass first and then to pour in the liquid, but it’s completely up to you. Garnish with some rosemary, a wedge or lemon, maybe a strawberry. The possibilities are endless.

Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes

Today we are headed to Cinque Terre.  I could not be any more excited.  Cinque Terre has been on my must-see list since study abroad in college, and I just had to include it on our Tour of Italy itinerary.  I can’t wait to hike the famous trail, eat pesto on giant slices of warm fococcia bread, and hang out on the rocky beaches.


Apparently the fancy cupcake trend is ending. This kind of breaks my heart. I love cupcakes. They are probably my favorite form of dessert ever. It satisfies my sweet tooth, there are a million and a half different combinations of flavors {Elvis cupcake anyone?} so I never get bored, and portion control is built right in. What more can you ask for?

I’ll grant you, this is not a healthy cupcake, but every now and then you deserve a treat. So before cupcakes become so 2012, why not whip this up for that summer cookout you’re having next week? Folks will rave. I promise!

Kiwi+Peach: Strawberry Margarita Cupcake

Strawberry Margarita Cupcake

{yield 9 delicious cupcakes}

The Cupcake
1/3 cup unsalted butter {room temperature}
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
zest from 2/3 of a lime
juice from 2/3 of a lime
¼ tsp of vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp of salt
1/3 cup buttermilk

The Strawberry Margarita Filling
1/2 cup of strawberries
zest from 1/3 of a lime
juice from 1/3 of a lime
2 Tbsp tequila
¼ cup of powdered sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp coconut oil

The Frosting
½ cup unsalted butter {room temperature}
1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup strawberry margarita filling

Preheat the oven to 325˚ F.

Cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Then mix in the lime zest and juice and vanilla.

While holding over the bowl, add the flour, baking soda and salt to a wire strainer {or sifter}. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk. Begin with the dry ingredients, then the buttermilk, then the dry ingredients, then the buttermilk, and then the rest of the dry ingredients. Don’t over mix it– mix until they are just incorporated.

To prepare your cupcake pan, line with the wrappers and either give them a spray with cooking spray or use a pastry brush to brush on a bit of melted butter or canola oil. {I did the latter because we don’t have cooking spray in Germany.} Once your pan in ready spoon the batter into the cups. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is springy and the edges are slightly browned. When they are finished, transfer them to a wire rack and let them cool completely.

While the cupcakes are a cooking, get to work on the filling and the frosting.

For the filling, add the strawberries, lime zest and juice, and tequila to the bowl of a food processor and puree the mixture until there are no chunks of strawberry left. Pour into a small bowl. Whisk in the powdered sugar and cornstarch until they have dissolved and then add the coconut oil. Give it a hit in microwave for 30 seconds and then whisk until the coconut oil is incorporated. Pop it in the fridge until you are ready to use it so that it can thicken up a bit.

For the frosting, cream the butter, powdered sugar and filling together in a large bowl until it is a frosting like consistency.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, use a strawberry corer {or a knife} to scoop out the middle of your cupcakes. Spoon about a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the cupcake. Spread {or pipe if you want to be fancy} the frosting over the whole top of the cupcake making sure to cover the filling completely.

Then you could eat it as is… or you can decorate it! Top with a lime wedge or a bit of strawberry. Roll the rim of the cupcake in green sugar. Sprinkle with lime zest. Add a sombrero. Go crazy!