Berry Crumble with Almond Topping

Sherry’s desserts always inspire me: She shows that some recipes never go out of style. This easy crumble recipe can be served hot or at room temperature and can be made using a variety of berries, which are enhanced by the floral orchid root and zippy Szechuan peppercorns in the Orchidea blend.

Orchidea N.34 – Recipe by Sherry Yard, from “The Art of Blending” by Lior Lev Sercarz

Makes 4 servings


1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups ground blanched almonds
1¾ cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light-brown sugar
3 tablespoons Orchidea N.34 spice blend
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced

2 pounds fresh blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries (or a combination) (about 7 cups)
½ cup cold water
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light-brown sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 tablespoon Orchidea N.34 spice blend
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Vanilla ice cream, for serving


1. Make the topping: In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, ground almonds, sugars salt, and 3 tablespoons of the Orchidea spice blend; beat at low speed until combined. Add the butter and beat until the mixture forms ¼-inch pebbles, about 4 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 350° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. Spread the topping on the baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Using a spatula, toss the crumble and bake for 3 minutes longer. Continue baking, stirring the crumble every 3 minutes or so, until golden brown, about 20 minutes total. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. (The crumble can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Any extra can be used for other desserts or sprinkled on top of yogurt).

3. Make the filling: In a blender, combine 3 cups of berries and ¼ cup cold water and blend until smooth.

4. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugars, flour, lime zest and the tablespoon of Orchidea. Whisk in the berry puree and remaining ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook the mixture, whisking, for 1 minute. Add the remaining berries, reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Whisk the mixture for 1 minute, until it thickens slightly.

5. Divide the berry mixture among 6-ounce ramekins, filling them about three-quarters full, or place in 9-by-12-inch baking dish. Top with the crumble and serve with ice cream.