Blueberry Crumble

Each of us has his obsessions. my wife Barbara’s are the tiny, sweet, incredibly fragrant low bush blueberries harvested in Maine at the end of July and the beginning of August. Mine, of course, is the grill. Now, marriage is a study in the art of compromise, so I created a blueberry crumble that would satisfy Barbara’s passion for blueberries and mine for live fire cooking. A gentle whiff of wood smoke brings out the delicate flavor of the blueberries.


Blueberry Crumble

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
  • Method: Indirect Grilling
  • Equipment: One 8-by-10-inch aluminum disposable foil pan; cooking oil spray; 1 cup wood chips or chunks (preferably apple), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained


  • 3 pints blueberries
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cups coarsely crumbled biscotti or sugar cookie crumbs
  • 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Pinch of salt

  • Vanilla ice cream (optional), for serving

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Pick through the blueberries, removing any stems, leaves, or bruised berries. Mrs. Raichlen would rinse and drain them—I don’t bother. Place the berries in a large nonreactive mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the flour and the granulated sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice and gently toss to mix. Lightly spray the aluminum foil pan with cooking spray. Spoon the blueberry mixture into the aluminum foil pan.

Step 2: Place the biscotti crumbs, brown sugar, and the remaining 1/2 cup of flour in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until a coarse powder forms. Add the butter and salt, then pulse until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Spoon the topping over the blueberry filling.

Step 3: Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-high. If using a gas grill, place all of the wood chips or chunks in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium-high. If using a charcoal grill, preheat it to medium-high, then toss all of the wood chips or chunks on the coals.

Step 4: When ready to cook, place the pan with the blueberries in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat, and cover the grill. Cook the crumble until the filling is bubbling and the topping is browned, about 40 minutes. Serve the crumble hot or warm, ideally with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe Tips

For an outrageously delicious twist on this crumble, replace half of the blueberries (3 cups) with diced ripe peaches.

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Steven Raichlen, a national barbecue treasure and author of The Barbecue! Bible, How to Grill, and other books in the Barbecue! Bible series, embarks on a quest to find the soul of American barbecue, from barbecue-belt classics-Lone Star Brisket, Lexington Pulled Pork, K.C. Pepper Rub, Tennessee Mop Sauce-to the grilling genius of backyards, tailgate parties, […]

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