Just in case you have some summer berries left (or a nice supply in your freezer) here is one of the best crumble recipes I have ever come across. Berry Crumble with Balsamic Glaze stands alone, I believe, because of the use of olive oil instead of butter and the use of Balsamic Glaze both in the topping and to drizzle on top. For this adaptation from Filippo Berio (I am not sponsoring the company, I just love their story and want to support the North End businesses), I used less sugar so you can justify eating this for breakfast. (he he ha ha, she says with an evil laugh!)Jump to Recipe Jump to Video
Every August in Boston’s little Italy The North End, Saint Anthony is brought out and for three days welcomes hundreds of thousands of revelers for Saint Anthony’s Feast. My first Feast when I had just turned 15 was one of those transformative experiences where family, tradition, Italian food become imprinted on one’s psyche.
At the time, I had no idea of the religious and community significance of the Feast. I ate zeppole, walked along with the crowds on Endicott Street, followed the marching bands, saw people waving flags out the windows of their tenement buildings. I followed my Uncle Fred, Nana and my newly-discovered cousins through the Italian enclave not realizing the impact it would have on my life many years later.
In 2019 Saint Anthony’s Feast celebrated 100 years. I went back, after waiting 45 years, I went back. Life happens, but it was time to return. Maybe some things are best left to childhood memories, but in this case, to revisit those North End Streets and to understand what had been so prevalent in my imagination, imprinted me once again. The 2021 Feast is closing today…. I hope to make it next year. In the meantime, let’s eat Berry Crumble!
Berry Crumble with Balsamic Glaze
- 6 cups mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.)
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 tbsp. Balsamic glaze (purchase your favorite brand or make your own – see below)
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, EVOO
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup chopped or sliced almonds
- ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. balsamic glaze
Balsamic Glaze (make your own)
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup (can substitue sugar, agave, molasses)
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Prepare a 9-inch square baking dish with a thin coat of olive oil.
- In a large bowl combine berries, balsamic glaze, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Spread in the bottom of baking dish.
- Mix together oats, nuts, flour, cinnamon, salt. Mix in the olive oil and stir well to combine. Broadcast over berry filling.
- Bake for 45 – 50 minutes @ 375° F until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown.
- Cool for 1 hour. When ready to serve, drizzle 2 tbsp. of balsamic glaze over the topping.
To make your own balsamic glaze
- In a small saucepan, add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Bring to a very gentle simmer and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Note: Some brands of balsamic vinegar are naturally thicker than others. Depending on which you use, vary the cooking time accordingly. the goal is to end up with a balsamic glaze that is the thickness of syrup that you can easily pour over the berry crumble.
Options: When it cools completely, drizzle the glaze all over your crumble, or drizzle on each individual piece. Either way, it’s fabulous!