Feeling a Little Rum

Special note: My friend Rob recently posted on Facebook how much he hates blog recipes that take forever to announce the ingredients. So, on his behalf: strawberries, cornstarch, cinnamon, lemon zest, spiced rum, flour, rolled oats, sugar, kosher salt, unsalted butter.

It’s back to school for me and, as much as I love teaching, I am absolutely not ready for summer to end. We’ve just had too much fun. Between our western bucket list trip (details coming soon!), reconnecting with family members we had not seen in forever, and just enjoying time together, I’m finding it hard to let go of my off time.

In contrast, nearly every parent I know is sighing in relief as they send their little darlings off on the bus. One dad I met announced, “I’ve had them all summer, it’s your turn now!” As if I didn’t already have his kids 189 days out of the year. Hmmmm…..

Anyway, in my quest to keep summer going, I thought I’d share a recipe I came up with this summer. It’s awesome in that you can use fresh or frozen strawberries, or even those strawberries in your refrigerator that are starting to look a little rough around the edges.

This dish is great for those Labor Day parties you might be going to, and easily doubles for larger gatherings. 

You could even swap out the strawberries for blueberries or peaches. Yum! Peach daiquiris? Yes, please!

A couple of glitchy things to watch for, though.

  • If you are using frozen fruit, do NOT defrost it. The amount of liquid generated when you defrost the fruit will need to go somewhere, and it generally leaves the crumble topping a little soggy. 
  • The same is true if you change to peaches. With blueberries and strawberries, there’s not a lot of juice. Once you hit peaches, though, watch out. Those sweet, juicy slices generate a LOT of liquid. I would prefer fresh to frozen (but that’s just me).
  • If you think you might have a potential juice disaster on your hands, I have two fixes for you to try BEFORE baking:
    • You can add more cornstarch, but then the color turns a little pasty. Food coloring fixes that (add before baking), but it’s just not the same.
    • My choice? Double up on the topping! First of all, more crumbly, buttery goodness is never bad. Second, the extra ‘dry’ ingredients go a long way toward absorbing the extra liquid.

This recipe is good by itself, but top it with vanilla ice cream and it becomes a-mazingly awesome.

Or, even better? Add a little rum cream (kind of like Bailey’s Irish Cream, but rum based) or vanilla vodka to some Cool Whip and go to town! That extra layer of goodness is just, well, you get it.

If you decide to try this recipe, I would love to hear how you make out. Send me a picture, and I’ll post it here!

Servings: 6; 437 cal: 53.6g carbs, 23.5g fat, 4.5g protein

For the filling:

  • 4 c strawberries, quartered or halved – depending on the size of the berry
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp cinnamon 
  • ½ tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp Appleton Spiced Rum (or your favorite!) (or you can substitute rum extract)

For the topping:

  • 1 c flour 
  • 1 c rolled oats 
  • ½ c sugar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ c unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  1. Preheat oven to 375○ F. Grease an 8×8 square pan. Set aside.

2. Rinse and hull the strawberries. If you are using frozen strawberries, skip the rinsing, as you’ll start the defrosting process and probably end up with a squishy mess.

3. Gently combine the ingredients for the filling in a medium-sized bowl. Stir carefully until well-combined. Empty into your prepared pan.

4. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon.

5. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles small pebbles.

6. Sprinkle the topping over the strawberry mixture. If you made extra topping, be careful not to let any of that goodness spill over. Press down slightly – but not too much! You don’t want the topping to turn into a flat layer.

7. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. If you need to, add additional baking time in 5 minute increments until you have that rich color.

8. Cool slightly before serving.

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