Tuesday, August 21, 2012

As American as Apple Pie, and Also Blueberry Crumble

I'm pretty sure I have made it abundantly clear by now that I harbor a bit of a crush on Sweet Ali's. You know, if you could have crushes on buildings. Or cupcakes.

So when I saw on Facebook that they were hosting a summer fruit/pastry sampling on Saturday, it took me all of about .5 seconds to clear my morning and plan to stop by. Free samples, plus the chance to buy some other odds and ends ( ... fine. By "odds and ends" I mean salted caramel cupcakes. Don't judge) meant that there is probably nowhere else I would be that morning.

I always joke that I need to have one of the "normies" try things, too, since I think my taste buds have become skewed in the past few months, and Luke's pretty good about giving it to me straight, so I took him along to get the gluten-eater perspective.

The first thing I tried was the appropriately named Juicy Blueberry Crumble. I love crumbles and cobblers (shocker, right?) and have an awesome recipe for an apple crumble that I make every year after we pick our own apples (P.S. I will continue that trend this year). I have sort of a love-hate relationship with blueberries, though. I love them in pancakes and waffles, but have had too many bitter berries to count them among my favorite fruits. The berries in this crumble, though, were sweet and juicy and awesome. I briefly considered having Luke cause a distraction so I could swipe the whole tray of samples (they even served it with a little dollop of vanilla ice cream! ), but they assured me I could sample as much or as many as I wanted (this could be your downfall, Ali's). Luke thought it was good, too, though he liked the crumbly, sugary butterfest topping way more than the fruit. They did crumbles with peaches and mixed berries too, and they were good, but the blueberry was definitely the standout for me.

Luke's favorite find was the apple pie. He's a big fan of apple pie, in general, and he swears that Sweet Ali's is the best he's ever had. It's true that the apples were seasoned and sugared perfectly, and the crust was golden and yummy. I just preferred the fruit:dough ration better on the crumbles. But if someone were to show up on my doorstep with a Sweet Ali's pie, I probably wouldn't turn them away.

Also, can I just tell you that I am a sucker for pretty presentation? The little dough cutouts were adorable, and really made the pie look like it could hold it's own on a Thanksgiving dessert table (but not too close to the gluteny desserts. And use a different knife, please. You know what, let's just metaphorically put it on the table). They had the filling recipe free for the taking, and the crust available in pre-made crust shape, but also as a ball of dough. We didn't take any home Saturday, but I have big plans for that pie crust come November.

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