American chefs are becoming more familiar with the sesame paste tahini, which is mainly due to hummus but also because of the richness and nuance it adds to falafels, grilled meats, and roasted vegetables.
However, Middle East cooks know that its slightly bitter, savory flavor is equally good in desserts. Halva is a sweetened tahini-based confection that looks like fudge and is rich in nuts, spices, and dried fruits.
We knew that tahini would bring a new twist to an American classic, the blueberry crumble. This recipe is from “COOKish”, which restricts recipes to six ingredients but doesn’t compromise flavor. It uses tahini to enhance the flavor of a buttery oatmeal mixture that bakes over juicy blueberries. We also add a little cinnamon to the mixture. The savory nuttiness from the tahini balances perfectly with the sweetness of the blueberries.
Quick-cooking oatmeal is the best; older-fashioned oats will not soften as well. Fresh berries are the best, but you can also use frozen berries. Frozen “wild” blueberries are best. They’re small, but packed with big flavor. Frozen regular berries can be added to the baking time for a few more minutes, but they should not be thawed before being used.
Toss the blueberries in 1/4 cup (20g) of the oats with 1/4 cup (54g) sugar. Transfer to a 9-inch baking dish. The bowl should be wiped clean. Next, add 1 3/4 cups (140g) of the oats, 1/2 cup (107g) sugar, butter, tahini and cinnamon. Mix the ingredients until well combined. Then, use your hands to form clumps about the size of a golf ball and scatter them on top of the berries. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until edges are golden and crumble is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temp.
Optional garnish: Toasted sesame seeds