I honestly had the best intentions of following a recipe (for once in my life). I even laid out last month's issue of Bon Appetit on my kitchen counter as I got to work, pulling the ingredients and equipment out and preheating the oven. Then somewhere between hulling three pounds of strawberries and buttering the bottom of the baking dish, I started to get that creative itch and thought to myself, "this would be great with some cinnamon". From there, it was a slippery slope to another SBK non-recipe dessert creation.
Strawberry Sunken Island Crumble
- 3 lbs strawberries, hulled and sliced in half or quarters (depending on size)
- 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 stick of chilled butter, plus some for the pan
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and stripped of the seeds (you could also just add a couple drops of vanilla extract if you don't have a vanilla bean on hand.)
- A couple pinches of cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 375. Place the hulled and cut strawberries into a pie pan. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar with the vanilla bean seeds. Combine well. Dust the sugar over the berries and toss lightly with your hands until the berries are well coated in sugar. In a medium bowl, combine the 2/3 cup sugar with the flour. Cut the chilled butter into small 1/3 inch cubes and combine them with the flour sugar mixture by using your hands. Continue combining until the mixture gets moist and crumbly. Add the hazelnuts, cinnamon and oats and combine with your hands. Pour the crumble over the berry/sugar mixture until evenly coated. Bake in the over for about 45 minutes or until the crumble has started to brown. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream when the crumble is still warm or serve it at room temperature.
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