Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Easy Raspberry Crumble Recipe and Remembering My Father

I grew up in Southern California where our backyard was filled with fruit trees. Every summer my Dad made lemonade every few days because, being very frugal, he didn't want to see all of the huge amount of lemons we had go to waste. My father wasn't a very patient man, but he took his time making the lemonade just right, and giving me the first glass always made me feel special.

Oh, how I wish I had those lemons and all of the other fruit we had on our trees now!! Sometimes I just can't believe the price of fruit nowadays, and how much I took for granted that wonderful year round availability of it.

When I was a kid, every year in our Christmas stocking there would be a big, beautifully ripe orange. And I always wondered why Santa bothered to give us an orange when there was a whole bowl of them siting on the kitchen table.

Many years later my mother told me the reason. My father grew up poor in New York City. His mom died young and his dad turned into an alcoholic. It was hard for him to have a decent meal at times, let alone the luxury of fruit to eat. So for him, an orange was special, an extra that only some lucky people were able to have and enjoy.

When my dad grew up, he made his new home in Southern California, the land of orange groves everywhere you looked in those days. And he made sure that each of his kids always had an orange in their Christmas stockings.

Anyhow, on to this recipe for Raspberry Crumble, which is really delicious. It's also super easy to make, and I eat it for dessert and breakfast. If you are eating it for dessert, a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a little whipped cream makes it even yummier.

Though I made this crumble with raspberries, the recipe adapts perfectly to other fruits like blackberries, pears, or apples. Crumbles are great no matter what time of year it is, but I will be so happy when summer arrives and the price of fruit at the grocery stores goes down.

And I'll be thinking of those many, many glasses of lemonade my Dad made for us, another thing I took for granted, and only learned to appreciate years later.

Recipe for Raspberry Crumble


 3 cups fresh raspberries
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt


 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, add the butter, brown sugar, oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix all together, then with a fork, break into small, loose pieces of dough.
 Layer the raspberries in a ceramic baking dish.
Spread the oat mixture evenly on top of the berries in the dish. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 25-28 minutes.
Let the crumble set until just warm and serve. Can be topped with vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream.

Serves 4.


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