Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blueberry Crisp from Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook

There’s a lot of hometown pride in today’s recipe and quite a story behind the wonderful baker whose recipe this is.  She’s a Southampton native who, at age 11, got her start baking sweets for her father’s Farm stand on Noyac Road. 
She’s Kathleen King Tate and she's a local hero whose Bake Shop turns out
all kinds of fantastic confections none more famous than her Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Kathleen's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies
        These fantastic buttery, crispy, caramel-tasting delights are her signature product.  Amazingly, she now sells them in 40 states and brings in  $6,000,000 in annual sales.  There were some ups and downs along the way. Originally called Kathleen’s Cookies, Kathleen took on some partners a few years ago who did the unthinkable.  They moved the baking end of the business to Virginia from Southampton and so changed the recipe that Kathleen bowed out, leaving her name behind but recapturing her recipe and renaming her cookies “Tate’s”.  Whatever their name, they will always be Kathleen’s cookies to everyone around here.
The Irresistible Tate's Bake Shop
        To those of us who live nearby, Tate’s Bake Shop is a more than the place we go to get a chocolate chip cookie fix.  It’s a gorgeous little bakery Kathleen opened when she was all of 23.  The moment you walk in the door it embraces you with the aroma of beautiful fresh cakes and pies, brownies and blondies.  There’s Granola for Breakfast and Pound Cakes for tea.  And there is a remarkable Blueberry Crisp.
        There’s something about a Crisp that is irresistible. Is it the crunch of the topping or the juiciness of the fruit?  It’s the tartness of the berries and the sweetness of the sugar in one delicious bite.  Since the Blueberry is pretty much a year-round fruit, you don’t have to wait ‘til summer to enjoy this fantastic treat.  Here’s the recipe:

Recipe for Blueberry Crisp for Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook

For the Blueberry Mixture:

5 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen, if you must)

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch (mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water or juice)

For the Crumb Topping:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

3 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar or 3 tablespoons light brown sugar

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 

6 tablespoons salted butter, chopped

1.   Preheat oven to 350° F.
2.   Make the blueberry mixture: combine 2 cups blueberries and 1/4 cup sugar in a medium saucepan; cook mixture over low heat.
3.   When the blueberries start to soften, stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and clears. Stir in the remaining 3 cups of blueberries; pour mixture into an 8×8 inch square pan.
4.   Make the topping: mix the flour, walnuts, brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl; add the butter and mix it with your hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture forms moist crumbs.
5.   Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the blueberries.
6.   Bake for 40 minutes or until the topping is golden and the filling is bubbling.
7.   Cool slightly, and serve the crisp with whipped cream or ice cream.

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