08/10/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

I'm Happy When I Have the Blues (RECIPE)

In Chicago, we wait all year for this time of year. And the markers I use are local blueberries and peaches. Every week I buy one peach or one tiny carton to wait for the perfect 'moment' for each.

Blueberries come along first and when the explosion in my mouth is the perfect combination of firm, sweet and tart, the moment has arrived. I call Peter at Seedling at the Green City Market and get my kitchen ready for the bounty.

First I pick over the berries and save the biggest, sweetest ones for freezing. Yup, you heard me. Placed on a cookie sheet, put into the freezer until hard and then into some freezer weight bags, I keep them as a magical treat for the blustery, winter Monday morning when I'm off from work, wrapped in fleece, and can make myself 'summer' blueberry pancakes at home. It makes looking at the frozen lake a little easier.

Most of the berries go into our Whole Wheat Oatmeal or Buttermilk Pancakes each day and then into a Crisp that I think is the best way to savor the rest of the blueberries.

I make a lot of this crisp topping to keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use it on all fruits, from summer through fall. Baked fruit is a taste luxury most people don't experience.

And be courageous, use any fruit, or a combination! It's all good.

So, pile in the fruit, sprinkle on the topping and pop it in the oven when you begin dinner. It will be ready when you are!


  • 7 oz. flour
  • 4 oz. sugar, white
  • 4 oz. sugar, light brown
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 6 oz. butter, unsalted, cut into small pieces

Put all dry ingredients into a food processor and combine.

Add butter and 'pulse' 7-10 times until the butter pieces are quite small -- about the size of rice.

Fill an 8 oz. ramekin with blueberries, mounding them a bit, and put 1/4 cup of topping on each ramekin, covering the berries.

Bake the crisps at 375 degrees for 15-17 minutes.