Before I moved to Idaho the extent of my huckleberry knowledge included Huckleberry Hound, Huckleberry Finn and the infamous Tombstone line "I'm your huckleberry." Growing up in the south the image of a blue dog with a southern drawl, a young boy setting afloat on the Mississippi or Val Kilmer's "Doc" (still looking rather handsome despite the tuberculosis) is what one would imagine before thinking of an actual berry. We know of and probably have picked blueberries and dewberries, but not huckleberries.
I came across the actual berry at the South East Idaho Farmers Market one crisp early autumn day. Amongst the mounds of potatoes, trailers of gourds, squash and pumpkins sat a tiny table displaying a mass of mason jars glistening with berries. It caught my attention. They resembled the blueberry but were darker and smaller. The taste was similar to a blueberry as well, but had a unique astringency to it. Intrigued, I bought a jar and ended up making this peach and huckleberry crisp.
Peach and Huckleberry Crisp
adapted from : Ina Garten
- 4 to 5 ripe large peaches
- 1/2 orange, zested
- 1/2 c. plus 1/8 c. cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cups plus 1 to 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup huckleberries
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
- 1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the inside of a 10 inch round baking dish. Cut a small X just through the skin of the peaches.
- Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place them in cold water. Peel the peaches and slice them into thick wedges and place them into a large bowl.
- Add the orange zest, 1/8 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 tablespoons of flour. Toss well.
- Gently mix in the huckleberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
- If there is a lot of liquid, add 1 more tablespoon of flour. Pour the peaches into the baking dish and gently smooth the top.
- Combine 3/4 cups flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, and the cold, diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- Mix on low speed until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly.
- Sprinkle evenly on top of the peaches and huckleberries.
- Bake for 1 hour, until the top is browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator and reheat in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until warm.