First, I would really like to thank all of you for sharing your thoughts, suggestions and support on my post yesterday. I've spent much of the weekend researching and all morning on the phone. I've decided that this is something that many of us rarely think about until we are in the midst of a crisis. I read all of your comments to my husband and he was very grateful for all of your good thoughts and prayers for his parents.
I finally tried a recipe from the cookbook my daughter gave me for Christmas. Dam Good Sweet by David Guas, is full of New Orleans recipes. It was difficult to decide which one to try first. I opted for Black & Blue Crumble.
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup quick oats
4 T. unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4-1/2 cup sugar
2 T. light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-pupose flour
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
4 cups blackberries
4 cups blueberries
Zest of 1/2 lemon plus 2 T. lemon juice
Sugar (anywhere from 2 T. to 1/4 cup)
3 T. cornstarch or tapioca flour
Ice cream or whipped cream for garnish
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread out the almond in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes. Add the oats and continue toast 4 to 6 minutes longer. Remove and put in medium bowl, set aside. Increase temperature to 350 degrees. (my almonds got too brown-I answered the phone while they were in the oven)
Mix the butter, 1/4 cup of sugar and brown sugar in a medium bowl until relatively smooth (I used my fingers). Stir in vanilla, flour cinnamon and salt. Mix until crumbly with large nuggets. Freeze for 10 minutes, stir in almonds and oats...refrigerate if you aren't using immediately.
Place the berries, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add enough sugar to lightly sweeten berries.
Add the conrstarch, toss and transfer to an 8-inch baking dish. I used a small rectangular pan.
Evenly cover the berries with crumbly topping. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the berry juices are bubbling, about 1 hour.
Remove from the oven and serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
I found this recipe to be delicious. The only thing I would change is the lemon juice. I didn't measure the juice, I just squeezed out the lemon and I think I got a little too much. I think I would prefer it without any lemon juice, although the the lemon zest is just enough to add to the flavor. The topping is perfect. I'm going to be making this with other fruits as well.