What’s Cookin’ at Callie’s Cabin: Lighten up with a fruity crisp | TahoeDailyTribune.com

What’s Cookin’ at Callie’s Cabin: Lighten up with a fruity crisp

Cal Orey

Spring has sprung. I’m still on a health kick, especially now with the season of renewal. Instead of a deep dish apple pie with a thick crust, I opted to whip up a lighter apple-blueberry crisp. I got the idea from a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The news flash is that eating apples and blueberries cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes – a big American woe. Year-round I have fresh apples on the kitchen countertops. And now, I’ve got a baked combo fruity crisp in the fridge. It goes nicely with the unpredictable cold and warm spells we’ve been having on the South Shore.

More than a decade ago, in the spring, I made my first trip to Reno-Tahoe. I was on the hunt for a new place to live. Reno caught my eye for a day and night but it wasn’t my cup of tea. Next stop was Truckee, a town I’ve always loved for its charm but something was missing. Then, South Shore, a place where everything is, caught my attention. Like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” I felt it was just right when I found “Callie cabin.” While experiencing snow flurries and glimpses of sunshine, it was different than San Francisco Bay Area – a stable, Mediterranean-type climate. It was the cold and hot weather, trees and Lake – a light place that had me at first sight.

Homemade apple-blueberry crisp, like the South Shore, provides Mother Nature’s finest. It’s down-to-earth, easygoing, and good cold or warm. On Wednesday, after swimming and a hot tub soak, baking this dish and eating it fresh out of the oven was bliss. Like a dog, my 3-year-old Siamese-mix cat, Zen, attempted to scarf down one of the fruity desserts. While I was pleased he took interest in my creation (they do put blueberries in pet food), I replaced it with a piece of turkey and a toy mouse for his third birthday.

Apple-blueberry Crisp

2 cups Granny Smith apples, chopped (unpeeled)

4 ounces blueberries, fresh

1⁄8 cup dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon unbleached white whole wheat flour

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Topping

1⁄2 cup quick oats, uncooked

1⁄4 cup dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon unbleached white whole-wheat flour

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2-3 tablespoons European style butter, small squares

Sugar in the Raw (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium sized bowl combine fruit, sugar, flour and cinnamon. Place in 6-ounce ramekins or glass baking dishes. Top fruit with oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and flour mix. Sprinkle each with sugar. Place dishes on baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes or till fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown. Turn up the heat to 400 for a few minutes to get extra-crisp topping. Cool. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a small scoop of premium all-natural vanilla ice cream. Garnish with fresh green apple slices. Serves 4 to 6.

This naturally tart and sweet and comforting apple-blueberry crisp is colorful like the promise of Tahoe’s late springtime flowers. For now, it is good to eat warm with cold whipped cream. Serving these desserts in white ramekins is easy on the eyes and a perfect portion size. It pairs well with a cup of hot herbal tea. This healthful treat is a fail-proof fruity dessert to make that’ll put a smile on your face and warm your spirit during the beginning of spring.

Motto: Enjoy the variety of seasons, cold or warm. You can’t control the weather, but you can create a healthful treat to give you a sense of power.

– Cal Orey, M.A. is an author and journalist. Her books include “The Healing Powers” series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, and Coffee) published by Kensington. Her website is http://www.calorey.com.


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