In the past, I’ve pigeonholed strawberries as a dessert garnish, component of a fruit salad, or vessel for chocolate consumption (at best). You know, more of a supporting role than a star? Well, that forever changed this weekend….
Since UPS showed up last month, I’ve been lusting over a number of recipes in Heidi Swanson’s latest cookbook, Super Natural Every Day. However, there was one particular recipe for roasted strawberries that immediately caught my eye and also happens to be her personal favorite. This creation is a versatile booze and balsamic infused spread that works well smeared on muffins, alongside cheese, or drizzled over ice cream. This idea alone is a banner use of spring’s latest bounty, but the ensuing ripple effect was the more important thing for me. My mind was buzzing with the notion of putting these berries in the oven and experiencing the potential resulting flavor metamorphosis, as opposed to simply eating raw. How could I overlook the fact that almost everything is better roasted?
With that in mind, I resolved to take the perfectly sweet strawberries I came across at Alstede Farms this past weekend and transform them into something decadent. I decided to work off a traditional apple crisp recipe, sub in the berries, and upgrade the components with some marginally healthier substitutes like whole wheat flour, rolled oats, and maple syrup.
As the aroma of roasting strawberries and cinnamon enveloped the house, I peeked in the oven, saw the syrupy red bubbles and golden crust, and knew that paradise was a few minutes away. Behold, we have an ooey, gooey, sweet, tart, crumbly, buttery, seasonal treat for dessert that is bound to please… Thanks for putting the wheels in motion, Heidi, and welcome to Hollywood, strawberries! You are now the star.
5 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
4 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup rolled oats
6 Tbsp. butter, cut into small dice
4 Tbsp. light brown sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place four oven-proof ramekins on a cookie sheet and distribute the strawberries evenly among them. Drizzle each batch with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
In a separate bowl, combine the teaspoon of cinnamon, flour, oats, butter, and brown sugar. Smush together with your hands until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is well worked in. Distribute crumble evenly over the strawberries in each ramekin. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until crust is golden brown and the berries are bubbly. Serve warm.