Baking to Forget [Peach Blueberry Cardamom Crumble]

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Historically, I’m not much of a baker. I allow myself far too many liberties without understanding the reasons for the exactness of a recipe. “Eye-balling” amounts when baking is not something I’d recommend. Unless, like me, you enjoy being stuck with a pretty looking but totally inedible plate of treats. Nothing could be a worse tease. 

I am underwater this week. Stressed and anxious and finding it hard to shake. I have something big this weekend, something so far out of my comfort zone that it’s taking a toll on my body and mind. Anxiety, which we’ve talked about before, is something I deal with regularly. Something I’m only just learning that I’ve dealt with forever. It’s a darkness that lives in the pit of my stomach, emerging at the first sign of discomfort, change, excitement or scary obligations. I can feel it when it starts to stir, the weight of it rendering me useless. Frozen and unable to function. That is how you would find me today. A shell of myself, withdrawn from the better things in my life because I can’t find the joy in them at this moment. 

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When I start feeling this way, disconnected from myself and my life, I bake. It’s in the exactness of the ingredients and the specific instructions that must be followed to the letter that I can ground myself and quiet my mind. So today, I baked. A simple crumble that I allowed myself a slight bit of liberty. It’s so easy to get lost in the chopping, the measuring, the mixing. So easy to forget where I am, how I feel, and what’s around the corner. 

Whether you bake to escape or bake for love, I hope you enjoy. Once this weekend is over and I can finally breathe again, I’ll be back. Ready to feel the joy and ruin some baked goods. Until then.  

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Peach Blueberry Cardamom Crumble
adapted from Martha Stewart
serves 6-8, depending on appetite (serves 2 in our house)

Filling
6 ripe peaches (about 4 cups sliced), sliced 1” thick
1 1/2 cups blueberries, cleaned and picked over
1/2 - 1 cup granulated sugar, depending on how sweet you like it
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (the fresher, the better)
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Topping
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup pepitas, optional
1/4 cup shredded (unsweetened) coconut, optional
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, room temperature

Serving suggestions: 
-Drizzle of cream (my favourite - all the juices and cream make for a sweet syrupy sauce)
-Scoop of vanilla bean ice cream
-Spoonful of Mascarpone cheese

For the filling:
Mix all ingredients together, taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Pour into a baking dish (I used a large pie plate but feel free to use whatever vessel you prefer). Let sit for 20 minutes at room temperature while you make the topping. Preheat oven to 375. 

For the topping: 
Whisk all the dry ingredients together and add the butter. Use your fingers to smoosh the butter into the dry ingredients until they start to form tiny clumps. Pour over the filling and pop in the oven for 45 minutes, covering with a loose tent of tin foil after 30 minutes so the topping doesn’t burn. Let cool 20 minutes before serving. Serve with one of the above suggestions if you’re so inclined. 

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