By Chef Suman Roy


There are two native varieties of blueberries in Canada: the wild lowbush berries and the cultivated highbush berries. The lowbush blueberries are small and a bit tart, but have a stronger, richer flavour; these are the berries that have been growing here for centuries. The highbush berries are the kind that you would buy in the grocery store: large, soft, and sweet with a milder flavour. They can be used interchangeably in most recipes, although many local cooks are staunchly loyal to one type or the other.

Makes 8 servings

8 fresh peaches, halved, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
3 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen, if out of season)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup maple sugar
2/3 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

In a large bowl, stir together the peaches, blueberries, cornstarch, lemon juice and maple sugar. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter; mix with a fork until it resembles a coarse meal. Stir in the pecans.

Spread the peach mixture evenly into an 8-x 8-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle the flour and oat mixture evenly over the top of the peach mixture. Bake in a 350º F oven until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Serve warm with your choice of ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

This recipe is from From Pemmican to Poutine: A Journey Through Canada’s Culinary History, by Chef Suman Roy. The Key Publishing House Inc., Toronto, 2010. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher.

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