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Jessica’s Garden: Cheerful Dishes to Ring in Spring

Summer Berry Crumble
Summer Berry Crumble

After the cruel trick of snow that Mother Nature played on the first day of Spring, I thought it would be nice to share a couple of my recipes for bright and cheerful dishes.

The first recipe is for Summer Berry Crumble. Crumbles are one of my favorite desserts to make. They always remind me of my mom’s cooking and my childhood. We used to pick fresh berries from our canes of our blackberry bushes, and my mother would add apples to make blackberry-apple crumble. And when our rhubarb would come in, she would do an apple-rhubarb version.

They’re a versatile dessert and also a crowd pleaser. You can use a combination of fruits you have on hand or just make a simple apple crumble. Over the weekend, we had company for supper, so I whipped one up based on fruits I had in my fruit bowl. I tend to make mine on the tart-side, so feel free to sweeten it up a bit.

Summer Berry Crumble
Serves 6

2 refrigerated 9″ Pie Crusts
2 C Old Fashioned Oats
2 C Brown Sugar; Divided
1 C Butter; Cubed
2 Pears
2 Apples
1 C Sliced Strawberries
2 Large Plums
1/4 C Minute Tapioca
2 tsp. Cinnamon; Divided
1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg; Divided
1 tsp. Ground Ginger; Divided
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves; Divided
Zest of 1 Lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In food processor, combine half of spices, oats, 1 cup brown sugar and butter. Pulse into a coarse mixture. Slice fruit into consistent sized slices. In large mixing bowl, combine sliced fruit, remaining sugar and spices, tapioca and zest. Either in large and deep casserole dish or individual sized ovenproof dishes, line with pie pastry.

Fill to brim with fruit and cover generously with crumble. Bake until golden brown and fruit filling is bubbly. Large dishes 35-45 minutes. Small dishes 25-30 minutes. If you have pastry scraps and are feeling up to it, crumble can be adorned with pastry leaves and berries prior to baking. Another little trick my mom passed to me.

Merry Morning Egg Frittata
Merry Morning Egg Frittata

The other recipe is for a cheerful dish that can be breakfast, brunch or breakfast for dinner.  It’s colorful and flavorful and hardly generates dishes to wash up. I used a ceramic deep dish pie pan because I like the crust it makes on the frittata, but any deep dish pie pan will suffice.

Merry Morning Egg Frittata
Serves 4

8 Eggs
1 C Fat Free Half and Half
Pinch Ground Nutmeg
6 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes; thinly sliced
4 Strips Bacon; crumbled ( reserve 1 Tbsp renderings )
Handful Baby Spinach
1 Leek; sliced thin and cleaned
1 Sprig Rosemary; chopped
1/4 tsp. Dried Thyme
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine rosemary, salt, pepper, potatoes and oil.  Line deep dish pie pan bottom and sides with potatoes to create a ‘crust’. Bake for 15 minutes. While potatoes are baking, cook bacon until crispy. Reserve 1 Tbsp bacon renderings and sauté leeks in bacon fat. Whisk 2 eggs with half and half.

Once potato crust comes out of oven, layer with leeks and bacon, pour over cream, layer with spinach. Carefully crack and arrange 6 eggs over top of spinach. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Reduce heat to 375 and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven and let set up for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Posted By: Jessica J. Crawford Behnkes Garden Blogger

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. We make frittatas all the time but I never though to make one without scrambling the eggs! Both of these look great, thanks so much for sharing!

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