Living & Eating on Long Island's East End 

That's how the Rasberry Rhubarb Crumbles

My name is Monique.
I'm a 2-time Emmy Award winning TV Producer.
Having been in the business for over 15 years I've produced my share of live tv cooking segments, but never had much time to devote to cooking myself.

Last year when I got married, I moved out of New York City to the east end of Long Island, to ...wait for it...The Hamptons.

Now before you roll your eyes, there's more to the Hamptons than mansions and celebrities.

The Hamptons have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, miles of productive farmland, plus a rich clamming history that continues to this day.

When I moved out east and realized I was surrounded, not just by the bounty of the sea, but also local farms and vineyards, I couldn't wait to explore and sample my new environment.

That's what this blog is about.  Cooking, living, exploring and sharing those experiences.

You'll notice that my blog is a little of this and a little of that, kind of like a potluck meal.

 The rasberries came in like gangbusters this July.

We planted the bushes about two years ago. Back then they were stark, bare branches. I couldn't imagine them some day bearing juicy, red berries. But they slowly come in around the end of June, then peaked during the 1st week of July, perfect for 4th of July celebrations. Before trailing out now at the end of the month.

The East End is a great place for berry picking. Strawberries, blueberries, rasberries and blackberries are all found in abundance out here. They grow on farmland as well as wild.     I just found blackberries growing wild on our property. There are plenty of farms and farmstands where you can buy local berries, as well as pick your own.

But once over the initial exuberance of watching them grow and picking them, I'm always challenged as to what to do with them. It's not like going out and picking a zuchini to chop up for a salad. These delicate berries deserve special treatment.

Last year we ate most of them fresh and gave some away.
My mother, who was born in Sweden, always ate her berries plain in a bowl with some milk and a sprinkle of sugar.
Maybe a little ice cream on special occasions.
 So that's how we ate them as children as well.

I still enjoy them that way, especially on a hot summer evening. Pour really cold milk over a bowl of fresh blueberries or rasberries, then sprinkle them with a little sugar...ah perfection! So refreshing and so good for you.

Problem is that most people want their rasberries in a dessert, preferably topped with a heap of ice cream or whipped cream on top. Not that whipped cream isn't a good thing.  Whipped cream on anything is delicious, but it can sometimes overwhelm what it's meant to accent.

I peruse recipes for rasberry pies, but they all look pretty involved and who wants to be that busy in the kitchen in the middle of summer?

That's when my Father-in-law suddenly stopped by with an armful of fresh rhubarb he had just picked on his property that morning.  I love rhubarb baked into pies, but again pie baking is too much work right now.

Seeing as I've never done anything with rhubarb before, I decide to make a Rasberry Rhubarb Crumble. Crumbles are awsome. It's kind of like baking a pie, with all the taste and sensation of a pie, but not as much work.

First, no crust involved, which is time consuming and who wants to be making crust in the middle of summer?  When making a crumble, you just combine a bunch of ingrediants into a pyrex bowl, bake it in the oven and ooey, gooey, fruity treat for your mouth.

(My sister-in-law Barbara, my mom & me at the Southampton 4th of July Parade)

So while my mom was visiting me during the 4th of July holiday, I made a rasberry-rhubarb crumble, straight from the garden. My rasberries and my Father-in-law's rhubarb.

Mom picked the rasberries. She enjoys berry-picking, something she did a lot growing up in northern Sweden. She came from a small northern town called Stromsund. I think timber is their number one export. It's beautiful there, nothing but woods, woods and more woods.

The crumble was super easy and came out delicious. Not too tart and not too sweet. Then we paid a visit to my Father-in-law, bringing the dish along, so he too could enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Rasberry Rhubarb Crumble

  • 3 cups sliced rhubarb 
  • 1 cup rasberries 
  • 1/2 cup flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup quick cook oats 

Combine the rasberry and rhubarb, then spoon into a greased 8-inch square baking dish.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add in the cold butter, until you have course crumbs.

Stir in the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and oats. Sprinkle entire contents over the fruit mix.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until fruit bubbles up and top is lightly browned.

That's it, isn't that easy?  And so good! This is such a basic crumble recipe that you can easily exchange rasberries with whatever you prefer.  I purposely cut back on the sugar to get a more balanced sweet/tartness. If you prefer it sweeter, increase the sugars to 1 cup each. Try different combinations of fruit, til you find your favorite.

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