Posts Tagged ‘crumble’

Although this particular recipe is my own invention, it is based on an idea my mother came up with. And the best part is that it’s more delicious, easier, and more novel than the usual crumble (well, perhaps not after this post – but I’m ok with that). With this dessert, not only do you have the delicious crumble topping and the warm apple, but you also have a flakey crust. And the trick is that the crumble topping is made primarily with wholesome granola!

All the pies I made 20 minutes ago have already vanished – which I take to mean it was a success.

In September I moved to Montréal, and I shared these pies with my new house-mates. They were made with apples I picked right off a tree during my lunch break while working in the field at a switch-grass farm. I hope you can enjoy these pies often during the cold winter months!

Ingredients – makes 6 small 4-inch pies

-1 quantity sweet shortcrust pastry

-4 apples, cored and diced
-1 tsp cinnamon
-2 Tbsp brown sugar
-1/4 cup pecan pieces

-1 cup granola
-1 Tbsp flour
-1-2 Tbsp brown sugar
-1-2 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces


Prepare your sweet shortcrust pastry 30 minutes in advance. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 6 small tart pans (I used the small 4-inch tin pans available at the supermarket). Roll out dough after it has rested, and cut it into 6 circles to fit into the pie shells. Prick the crust on the bottom and sides, then place in the oven for 15 minutes to partially blind-bake it.

Meanwhile, crush the pecans into small chunks. Mix with the cinnamon and brown sugar. In a separate bowl, mix the granola, flour, brown sugar, and butter. Once the crusts are set, quickly cut the apples and mix into the brown sugar, pecan, and cinnamon mixture. Place 1/6 of the apple mixture in a heaping pile in each pie, then top with the granola topping.

Bake for 45 minutes, until the apples are in their melt-in-your-mouth stage. Serve alone, with vanilla yogurt/ice cream, or lightly sweetened whipped cream!


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I have long-held a love/hate relationship with this dessert.  When ripe strawberries are abundant in early summer, our family takes full advantage of dessert possibilities.  Between strawberry shortcake and tarts, pies and jam, cooked desserts often preside.

A frosty strawberry treat then is a delicious variant.  This cool strawberry topping is reminiscent of home-made strawberry ice cream, bursting with flavour and perfectly smooth.  The crumble adds complexity to the dish, with a subtle walnut crunch.  As my grandfather declared upon finishing his piece, “Well, that certainly slips down quite nicely!”

On the other hand, this dessert is incredibly labour intensive. It is technically easy to assemble, but requires large amounts strawberry hulling and beating of egg whites and creams. At the best of times, you hold the beater for five, six, seven minutes before suddenly  the two egg whites somehow defy belief, when they nearly quintuple in volume to form the base of the tasty strawberry topping.  Our cottage’s electric hand-held beaters may even pre-date the birth of my parents, easily doubling the time required to whip the egg whites into shape.  It’s definitely worth every second to make, although I am now lobbying for new electric beaters (or dare I say a KitchenAid?) at my cottage!

Frosty Strawberry Squares

(Makes one 9 by 13 inch pan, or 12 generous servings)



1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup melted butter

3/8 cup brown sugar (6 tablespoons)

3/4 cup chopped walnuts


2 egg whites

1 cup white sugar

Generous 2 cups sliced strawberries

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 cup whipping cream


Combine crumble ingredients until mixed thoroughly.  Sprinkle evenly over a cookie sheet to form coarse crumbs. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crumbs are lightly toasted.  Allow to cool slightly.

Beat the egg whites, sugar, strawberries and lemon juice until soft peaks form, about 10 to 12 minutes.  (Use an electric hand-held beater, or even better, a KitchenAid). Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold it into the strawberry mixtures.

Layer two-thirds of the crumbs at the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch dish.  Pour the strawberry topping overtop.  Decorate with remaining one-third of the crumbs and extra strawberries.  Freeze for 4-6 hours before serving.  Bon appetit!

– Catherine

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