Urban Farming

The Problem of Excess Bounty

As you urban farmers and modern day gleaners and gatherers know, sometimes we run into the problem of excess bounty.  We can only jam pack the freezer with so many quarts of fresh-picked raspberries.  We can only pickle so many quarts of kim chee and fill our basements with so many jars of jam.  What to do when the mere thought of liberating the Dreyer’s French Silk out from under the edamame packs and hot dog buns exhausts us? The answer of course is to free up some of that freezer footage and make Freezer Cleanse Crisp.

At our household, we are in luck.  A brave reach in to the arctic depths of our freezer yields

Reaching in to the arctic depths

Reaching in to the arctic depths

—drum roll please—one quart of huckleberries! I pop the top.  Ice enrobes some of the berries, but otherwise each rich-hued indigo gem is intact.  And the smell! Even fresh from the freezer, their ambrosia perfume! Bound up in each globe is Washington’s Cascadian summer.  If you’re stuck in Florida or Rhode Island, please pardon my Pacific Northwest gloating, but this is why we love living here!

Fresh-baked F.C. Crisp

A P.N.W.er– gloating

But before you R.I.ers and Floridians sink into a summerly funk, I offer this consolation.  Your Freezer Cleanse Crisp needn’t employ the worth-their-weight-in-gold huckle.  Use whatever your freezer yields up.  In advance, I wish you good eating!

The eaters

The eaters

Freezer Cleanse Crisp

For the Freezer cleanse crisp filling, mix together:

5 cups fruit (divested of errant ice crystals and properly thawed)

¼ to ¾ cup sugar (use more or less, depending on how sweet or tart your fruit is.  If using rhubarb, go with ¾, if using nectarines, go with ¼)

¼ c flour


Freezer Cleanse Crisp Bottom and Topping

Mix together:

2/3 c all-purpose flour

1 c oats

½ cup or less brown sugar

½ t salt

2 t cinnamon

1/3 c plus 1 T margarine or your other favorite fat that’s solid at room temperature


Lay about ½ to 2/3 of the bottom mixture down in a greased baking container.  You may use a pie plate.  I prefer my Martha Stewart 2.75 quart glass oblong (9 and ¾ x 7 and ¾ inches) because it has a nifty plastic lid that saves me on cling wrap.

Dump in fruit mixture.

Sprinkle remaining top mixture over fruit.

Bake 40-60 minutes, until golden and fruit-bubbly, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 


3 thoughts on “The Problem of Excess Bounty

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