The author’s grandmother, Sylvia, cooking in her Anchorage kitchen in the 1970s. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Petersen)

The author’s grandmother, Sylvia, cooking in her Anchorage kitchen in the 1970s. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Petersen)

Kalifornsky Kitchen: Bottom-of-the-freezer berry crumble

I’m convinced it’s impossible to mess this one up.

July is when I get excited about berries. Salmonberries, raspberries, blueberries, cloudberries … They aren’t quite ripe yet, but while I wait, I have been trying to use all the berries I picked and was gifted last summer (which isn’t much).

My aunt gave me a gallon-sized freezer bag of blueberries and cranberries that I’ve been trying to use up. I’ve been wanting to make a meal or a treat to drop off at my grandma’s house down the street. Since the pandemic started, she’s been stuck inside for the most part and hasn’t been able to do many of the things that keep her busy and happy.

After brainstorming meal ideas with my sister for a couple of days, we both decided we wanted to make her blueberry crumble. The recipe is from my grandma, Sylvia, who found it in a decades-old Anchorage Women’s Club cookbook. It’s classic and simple, but is one of my favorite recipes of all time — for its versatility and its decadence. My grandma made this in the summers growing up, and now I make it when I need a quick dessert.

I don’t know how many times I’ve made this crumble, but I’ve made it in all kinds of different dishes, using different fruits and using different berry-to-crumble ratios and every time has been a winner. I’m convinced it’s impossible to mess this one up. I mean, it is just berries and sugar, what could go wrong?

This recipe is extra easy because you don’t need to thaw your berries beforehand. Just toss them frozen into the baking dish, coat it with sugar and top with the crumble mix, bake and enjoy. Like I said, feel free to use any fruit. I’ve made this using raspberries, rhubarb, blueberries, a mix of all three. It works. My grandma, the purist, will always prefer Alaska blueberries though.

Blueberry crumble

Ingredients:

4 cups Alaska blueberries

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the topping:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup butter, melted

1 cup rolled oats

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Place blueberries into a baking dish and add the sugar and flour. Stir with a spatula until the blueberries are coated. Distribute evenly across the bottom of the baking dish.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, flour and oats. Mix until combined, then spread across top of the berries.

4. Bake for 40 minutes.

5. Let the dessert cool completely. Serve warm and with vanilla ice cream.

More in Life

Homer writer Richard Chiappone. (Photo by Joshua Veldstra)
‘Hunger of Crows’ perfect for winter reading

Chiappone’s first novel is set in Homer, Anchor Point.

Fresh dinner rolls made without the addition of dairy. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Baking for everyone

Dinner rolls skip the dairy, but not the flavor

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: ‘Tis the Season

The Kenai Community Library has always been one of the stars in the crown of the community.

Homer News Ben Mitchell, left, serves spaghetti to helper Pat Wells in the kitchen at a past Share the Spirit spaghetti feed. (Michael Armstrong/Homer News file)
Looking to share some holiday spirit? Here’s how

Share the Spirit serves the Homer community by donating food, essential needs and Christmas presents.

Appease your child’s picky palate with these tasty Tater Tots. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Tots to be thankful for

Two years ago, I spent the entirety of Thanksgiving Day in my green rocking chair, cradling my newborn son.

File
Minister’s Message: Keep in step

Sometimes it takes going half way around the world to learn how to “keep in step” as I journey.

Shelli and Mike Gordon pose in October 2011 at their Halibut Cove, Alaska, home in an Alaska Gothic version of Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” painting. (Photo courtesy of Mike Gordon)
‘Dagnabit’ features tales of ’80s wild Alaska

Gordon’s second book also tells of Ruben Gaines, creator of Chilkoot Charlie.

Before boiling, this handmade pasta is rolled, cut and tossed in flour to keep from sticking. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Pasta by hand

Learning one of the most important task of the Italian kitchen: making the pasta.

Will Morrow (courtesy)
The Great Thanksgiving dessert debate

Our holiday gathering is going to be smaller than it sometimes is, and it was argued that we didn’t need two desserts.

Dianne Spence-Chorman’s “Fig Study” is one of the works showing in the Homer Council on the Arts “Fun wtih 5x7” show through Dec. 22, 2021, at the gallery in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
‘Fun with 5×7’ offers affordable art

HCOA annual art show presents art in a variety of media, all in 5x7 format.

Make pumpkin chocolate chip with cinnamon buttercream cupcakes for a decadent fall treat. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: In honor of ‘Cupcake Mondays’

Pumpkin chocolate chip with cinnamon buttercream cupcakes brighten up the dreariest of work.

Nick Varney
Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Back off, Zeus

If this wet-n-warm, freeze, then start again, continues much longer, Kachemak Drive will need a complete redo.