Crisps for all seasons

Another day, another briefing, another walk through the fake IED course…

(what? like, improvised explosive device?)

umm…yeah. In other words, I think its time for me to get back to the “real world”. What’s in this fabled real world? Well, at one point, it had crisps!

All dolled up and ready for the oven.

Lately, I’ve seen crisps pop up all over the food blogging community (which I’ve finally been able to catch up on!) and most people seem to describe them as a sign of autumn.

Sure, I think crisps are perfect when the weather starts to cool and the leaves start to change…but don’t feel restricted to weather or time or ingredients. Crisps are meant to be enjoyed all year round.

…or, that’s what I keep telling myself, because the last time I made crisps was in the spring, and I have an awesome summer-themed crisp recipe to share. But, circumstances aside, crisps are a great go-to dessert with little effort needed…except the self-restraint it takes waiting for them to cook.

No, seriously. These are so easy to make, that I didn’t even use a recipe for the pictured crisps. Fill two ramekins with berries of your choice (my choice was fresh blueberries with the remaining handful of a bag of frozen mixed berries), mix together some flour, brown sugar, oats, a pinch of salt, and several chunks of cold butter in a bowl, smush it all together with your fingers and cover the ramekins with the mixture.

(yes…”smush” is the technical term)

Now here’s the hard part: toss them in a 400 degree oven for an hour! (Or, however long it takes to achieve a bubbly filling and golden, crispy topping)

Delicious and versatile! Remember how I keep asking all of my loyal readers to send me recipes and stories of baking adventures, so that my poor, kitchen-deprived self can bake vicariously though you? Somebody listened!

Teri, my quasi-mother-in-law, subscribes to a CSA (sooo jealous) and gets all kinds of fresh, local fruits and vegetables. This summer, her CSA suggested using zucchini in place of apples for a dish they called a “Zapple Crisp”. Always the rebel though, Teri strayed a bit from the recipe and used a different type of summer squash. Here’s the recipe for the crisp she made; the quantities can be improvised to suit your tastes.

Summer squash
Brown sugar

Crisp topping:
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oats
1 egg
1 stick of cold butter

– Prepare a buttered baking dish, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
– Peel summer squash and cut into little chunks, similar to the size you’d use for an apple crisp.
– Season squash with cinnamon and brown sugar and pour into the baking dish.
– Combine flour, brown sugar, oats, and egg until crumbly and cover the squash mixture.
– Dot with pieces of cold butter and bake for 45 minutes.

Waiting is the toughest part, but the outcome is well worth it. Just don’t forget to pile on your crisp topping…you can never have too much! I will definitely remember Teri’s version once summer rolls around again.

But what about winter? Teri suggested using canned peaches. That’s one ingredient that is always available in the DFAC, so maybe I’m one step closer to a Baghdad crisp? Insha’allah!

As for “real world” updates, I’m still in the southern U.S. but it seems I may be heading up to the District for a few days?

(surely you should know what this implies…)

Baking spree!!!!! I’m already bookmarking recipes for when I’m back. I know it will only be a few days (I should brace my neighbors/friends/coworkers for all of the leftover cookies, pies, etc I’m going to give them!) OMG, and I’ll even be able to hit up the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market!!! eeee!!!!

This mini-trip will be the ultimate appreciation for DC life (and will probably just make it that much harder to leave it again!) Stay tuned!