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Gluten Free Huckleberry Crisp

Summertime in Idaho definitely means hot temperatures! But hot is a relative term for this Arizona girl. We have had 8 days of hitting triple digits but hey it’s July, and July means fresh fruit everywhere. From pick your own orchards to local farmers markets and road side produce stands you can find peaches, berries, sweet corn and watermelon just to name a few.

Having a back-yard garden with fresh produce all summer is hard to beat, but if I don’t grow something myself I always try to find it at a local produce stand or farmers market especially for canning and preserving because it’s usually much cheaper than buying in bulk at a grocery store, however when it comes to huckleberries you have to find them in the wild. Yes, you read that right, I even forage for my food.

In southwest Idaho huckleberries grow in the wild and more specifically in the mountains and are ready to be picked in late July or early August. Huckleberries are hard to find and even harder to pick because they grow underneath the leaves of the plant, but they are so beautifully tart and sweet. I lovingly refer to them as mountain GOLD!

By late July my husband is already jonesing for archery elk hunting season which means checking our trail cameras regularly, putting up tree stands and shooting our bows as often as we can, so it only made sense to find out where these delicious wild berries grow.

It’s kind of like your husbands favorite hunting spot. It’s TOP SECRET INFORMATION. That being said, once you know what you’re looking for huckleberries are really not that hard to find. The hard part is they grow low to the ground and underneath the leaves of the plant, so it takes both hands to lift the branches up and gently pick the berries one by one.

Once you get these precious berries home and washed I lay them out on a towel to dry completely before putting them in the fridge or freezer. Some years only find enough to eat to our hearts content and when they are gone they are gone for the year. Other times I manage to stash a few bags in the freezer to use later for delicious desserts like this or have with my homemade yogurt.
OK, enough about that. On to today’s huckleberry treat. This recipe was adapted from an allrecipes.com recipe and made gluten free. Not because we need to eat gluten free but simply because I had some coconut flour I’ve been wanting to use. Working with coconut flour is different then working with all purpose flour. It it very dry and that’s why I figured this would be a great recipe to give it a try.

Combine the sugar, coconut flour, salt, baking powder, cold butter, eggs, lemon zest and water for the crisp and pat about half of the dough into buttered 9×13 baking dish. In a separate dish combine lemon juice, sugar, corn starch and water and give it a good stir before gently folding in the fresh huckleberries. Pour the huckleberry mixture over the dough and top with remaining dough.

I use a convection over so baking times are slightly quicker. This baked in my oven in about 25 minutes. The buttery crumble combined with the sweet and tart huckleberry is the perfect summertime dessert, especially with cold vanilla ice cream.

-Happy huckleberry picking