Thursday, March 20, 2008

Family Favorites: Mixed Frozen Berry Crisp

In addition to being a chocolate fiend, I am also a dessert fiend. This recipe showed up in the April 2008 issue of Today's Parent (the Canadian Edition). For the most part, I like the recipes I find in this magazine. Simple to prepare, using ingredients I have in my kitchen and, because it's a magazine geared towards parents, the recipes are typically kid-friendly. As long as you don't have a picky eater. Which I don't. Yet. But never say never.

Berry desserts of any sort are pretty propular in this house so I knew I'd be pretty safe making this for dinner. The other appeal was that it allowed me to use up the ricotta we have sitting in the fridge. I try my hardest not to let food go bad in our fridge, and ever since I've actually started planning menus and buying to the lists, it's been pretty easy.

The recipe promises a 10 minute prep time and a 40 minute cooking time.

I made a few changes - I left out the sugar in the berry/ricotta base because I figured the berries would be sweet enough (as well as the half a cup of brown sugar in the topping). And I added extra lemon zest.

15 minutes later (I had to work an extra little bit to get the frozen berries out of the bag), the dessert was ready to cook!

Out came the Sicilian Meatballs (yes, we made them again), in went the dessert. I put it in an 8x8 glass dish as the recipe says, but would have preferred to have ramekins for individual portions (as pictured in the magazine). So much prettier and much more classy. It would have photographed better as well.

If a photo is worth 1000 words, here's a 1000 words on how my oldest monkey liked it. No words from the youngest monkey, but maybe there will be the next time I make it for him.

Mixed Frozen Berry Crisp

The recipe says it serves 8, but the way we cut it, it served more like 6. I may not have added enough berries, since I had a 2 kg bag and guessed.

1/2 cup wholewheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter

600 g pkg frozen berries
2 tbsp white all-purpose flour
zest of lemon
1 cup light or regular ricotta cheese

*I omitted the 1/4 cup of sugar because I figured it would be sweet enough with the berries and the sugar in the topping. We didn't miss it. If you do add it, it gets mixed in with the lemon zest and then mixed with the berries.

Preheat the oven to 375F. In a small bowl, mix the flour, oats, cinnamon and sugar. Cut cold butter as you would carrots. Slice into sticks, line them up and then dice. Add to flour mixture, and use your fingers to distribute as evenly as possible.

In an 8 in square baking dish or a 10 in diameter deep-dish pie plate, toss together berries and flour. Mix the lemon zest in with the berries.

Insert 1/4 cup dollops of ricotta in four places between the berries (not on top). Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit mixture. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until bubbling.

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