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Food Network Favorites: Blueberry-Pecan Crumble

From Dave Lieberman, the Food Network's newest boy wonder chef, comes this simple version of fruit crumble. It's a good one.

If you've been reading the Cookbook Critic for long, you know that I love fruit crisps and crumbles. This is a very nice rendition of a classic blueberry crumble with a brown sugar and oat streusel topping. Pecans are added for a bit of crunch and flavor, and the end result is a yummy dessert.

One caveat: the recipe calls for 2 Tbsp of flour to be added to the blueberries. With my Chilean berries, the only ones available in February, that amount of flour caused the filling to become too thick, almost jam-like. If you're making this recipe at the height of berry season, with juicy, local fruit, then by all means use 2 Tbsp of flour in the filling. But if you're settling for less-than-perfect berries that maybe aren't bursting with juice, reduce the amount of flour to 1 Tbsp.

Another quibble: Lieberman doesn't specify what temperature the butter should be at when you're rubbing it together with the oats, etc., to make the streusel. I believe it's much easier to make streusel with room temperature butter, but after I definitively stated, in a review for a Jamie Oliver fruit crumble recipe, that butter for streusel should be at room temperature, several readers wrote in and told me that they always use cold butter. So, it's a toss-up. Use whichever temperature butter works best for you. In any event, I believe that the recipe should specify a temperature for the butter, so that's points off for thoroughness on the part of the Food Network Favorites editor.

Dave Lieberman doesn't give any recommendations for accompaniments to go with the crumble; as always, I love vanilla ice cream. Sour cream, crème fraîche, yogurt, or lightly sweetened whipped cream would also be fantastic.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 to 50 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

For the topping:
4 oz. pecan pieces (about 1 cup)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
Pinch salt
8 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces

For the filling:
2 pints fresh blueberries
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 to 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (see note above)

Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, etc., optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put all the topping ingredients in a large bowl and rub together with your fingers until well combined and beginning to stick together in small clumps.

Pour the blueberries into a 7-by-11-inch baking dish. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top, then the flour and sugar. Toss to combine thoroughly.

Scatter the topping over the berries evenly. Bake until the topping is golden and the berries are bubbling, about 40 to 50 minutes. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or other accompaniments, if desired.



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