I’ve only had one or two days in the kitchen between trips out of town…and with the chilly mornings and breezy days in Atlanta and the miles between me and the things I love at home, I’m turning to comfort foods. As much as I’m already missing tomatoes and lighter fare, there have been many stews, soups and slow cooker meals when I’ve had time to cook. When the California Strawberry Commission asked me to work on another recipe for them, there was little question it would be a crisp or crumble of some sort.
I’ve had the idea of a strawberry crumble in my head for a long time and wanted to make a less sweet version of the classic recipe. I turned to agave nectar, which is used relatively sparingly in this recipe and can easily be substituted with honey. For me, crumbles are about juicy fruit and a super crunchy topping. A granola-like topping makes this recipe really dynamic – so much crunch and a smaller amount of sugar than usual. The kicker in this is a springy touch to go with a cold weather dessert – a pinch of lavender flowers mixed with the strawberries to add a floral note without adding more sweetness. It’s fantastic – lush, baked fruit…a topping with great texture and no cloying sweetness to mask the strawberries. The best part – you can use the pitch perfect strawberries you buy at first…or you can also use them a day or so in when they’re not as pristine and they’ll still bake up lovely.
As a way of saying thanks for coming by….and a way of celebrating fall and warm, cozy desserts…I’m pairing up with CA Strawberries to give away three Le Creuset 9 1/2″ 1 quart au gratin dishes in red. Just leave a comment – between now and Monday, October 29th – and say hi. Maybe throw out an idea as to what you’d make in it if you won the bakeware. It’s Le Creuset…so you know it’s a great piece to have around the kitchen and it’s certainly worth winning. For an extra shot at one, visit the CA Strawberries Facebook page – they’re giving away two of them, as well.
Strawberry Lavender Crumble with Almond Oat Topping – serves 6
– 3 cups fresh sliced strawberries
– 1 tablespoon light agave nectar or honey
– 1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
– zest of 1 small lemon – you could substitute orange zest
– 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
– 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
– 1/2 cup rolled oats
– 2/3 cup slivered almonds
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
– Preheat oven to 400°F.
– Combine strawberries with the agave nectar or honey, lavender flowers, citrus zest and 1 tablespoon of the flour. Pour fruit mixture into shallow 1 quart baking dish (like the 9 1/2″ Le Creuset dish shown in photo).
– In another mixing bowl, combine rolled oats, slivered almonds, sugar, remaining flour, nutmeg and cinnamon. Drizzle with oil and stir to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle over the fruit mixture. Place baking dish on sheet pan and place in oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until fruit is bubbling and top is a deep golden brown. Allow crumble to stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Thanks so much to the California Strawberry Commission for asking me to develop another recipe for them. The last one I worked on, this Strawberry Black Pepper Cake, was a huge hit and one of the most popular recipes on my blog. Their site is full of great recipes using CA Strawberries – you should visit it. Thanks to them & Le Creuset for providing the bakeware for this giveaway!