Collins’s Family Recipes: Blueberry Crumble and Caramelized Onion Risotto

For those of you who have read Chasing Fireflies you will know that Maverick loves to bake. Baking and cooking is actually one of my own passions (to be honest, the passion stems from my love of eating rather than making, but that is neither here nor there), and several of the dishes I reference in the story are my own, so today I thought I’d share a couple of those recipes any food aficionados out there!

Blueberry Crumble

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, melted
8 cups fresh blueberries
Juice and zest of one lemon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup corn starch

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter and set aside.

Crisp: In a large bowl combine the brown sugar, oats, salt, cinnamon and flour. Pour in melted butter and stir until mixture forms uniform crumbs.

Filling: Place the blueberries in a large bowl. Add in the lemon juice and zest, sugar, and cornstarch. Stir gently to combine and coat the blueberries.  Spread the blueberries in the prepared pan and top evenly with the crisp mixture.  Bake for 45 – 50 minutes until the crisp is browned and the blueberries are bubbly. Allow the crisp to rest for 15 minutes before serving (even better if served a la mode!)

Caramelized Onion Risotto

4 medium yellow onions
1 tbsp butter
pinch of salt

6 cups chicken broth (don’t use unsalted)
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Peel onions, cut them in half, and thinly slice them. In a skillet over medium high heat, melt 1 tbsp of butter and add onions. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, until onions brown, stirring so they don’t burn. Add the salt. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat broth in a saucepan until hot – it doesn’t have to come to a boil, just keep it hot.

Once onions are caramelized, transfer them to a plate. Add ½ cup of the broth to the skillet, scraping with a spatula to get the bits on the bottom. Pour the liquid back into the broth mixture. In a deep saute pan or risotto pan, melt 2 tbsp butter at medium high heat, add the rice and cook for a minute while stirring (the rice will brown slightly and take on a faintly nutty flavor). Ladle enough broth to cover the rice and let simmer, stirring often, until it is absorbed. Continue to add broth in this manner, stirring often, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until the rice is tender – you may not use all of broth. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and the caramelized onions.

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