Sweet and slightly tart, my berry crisp is prepared with a juicy combination of fresh strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. It's the ultimate summer dessert, delicious either warm out of the oven or even cold!
Berry Crisp is Summer's Sweet and Juicy Dessert
I must admit that when beautiful fresh berries are plentiful in the markets, it makes me a very happy gal!
My imagination (as well as my appetite!) gets piqued by the prospect of preparing some of my favorite summer desserts kissed with the delectably juicy tartness of those berries, desserts filled with fragrant aroma and vibrant, eye-catching color.
One of my favorite easy homemade desserts to bake up when something rustic sounds enticing is a fruit crisp recipe. And let me tell you, when those berries become nice and sweet and abundant, a berry crisp is a dessert that I enjoy quite a lot.
Perfect served warm with a big scoop of rich vanilla ice cream, or even chilled from the fridge and spooned into a bowl and eaten as a midnight snack 😉 , this berry crisp recipe is filled with a bounty of colorful berries and a fragrant, buttery topping.
It's the ideal sweet and juicy summer dessert!
How to Make Berry Crisp
A homemade berry crisp is a great little dessert recipe to make all your own, by using a few different berries or a combination of a couple of your favorite variety. The choice is yours!
Because I love the complex flavor that a mixed berry crisp offers, the slightly differing degrees of tartness and sweetness (not to mention the gorgeous hues of color), I like to mix together four different types of berries for my crisp recipe: strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries.
The bulk of the berries I use are strawberries (they make up about 1 pound, or roughly half of the berries), and the other berries equally make up the remainder of the filling.
Because the juices from the berries will need a bit of help thickening up, I use cornstarch because it's neutral and light in flavor, and makes for a more glossy filling rather than opaque as flour would produce. I mix it directly into the sugar I use to sweeten the berries, for more even distribution.
I also find that a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the berries is nice for a touch of brightness!
And the berry crisp topping? That's an equally scrumptious part of the recipe, and mine has an almost cookie-like flavor and crisp-crumbly texture made from a combo of using flour, oats, brown sugar, cold butter, a hint of vanilla, and a pinch of cinnamon and salt.
Here's a glance at my berry crisp recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe further on down...)
- I like to start by preparing my berry crisp topping and keeping it cold in the fridge until I'm ready to crumble it over top of the fruit before baking. This is great to prep even several days in advance!
- Getting the berries ready is the next step, and I toss those very gently with the filling ingredients and turn them out into my prepared baking dish.
- I scatter the topping over the berries (I even add a sprinkle of optional sliced almonds here), bake until bubbly and golden, then serve nice and warm with ice cream or whipped cream, or even all by itself!
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 8
Nutrition Info: 374 calories
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Crisp Topping Ingredients:
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup old-fashion, rolled oats
• 3/4 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
• 1 tablespoon raw, sliced almonds (optional—you can sprinkle these in between the crisp topping)
Berry Filling Ingredients:
• 1/4 cup organic cane (or granulated) sugar
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1 pound strawberries, washed and hulled, and cut into smaller pieces to roughly match the other berries
• 6 ounce pacakge blueberries, washed and dried
• 6 ounce package raspberries, washed and dried
• 6 ounce package blackberries, washed and dried
• 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
• Small squeeze lemon juice (about 1-2 teaspoons)
- Begin by preparing your crisp topping: add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and mix together until a coarse crumble forms with roughly pea-size pieces; place into a bowl or into a ziplock, and keep cold in fridge until ready to top berry crisp.
- Preheat the oven to 350°, and have a medium-size baking dish on hand.
- To prepare the filling, combine the cane (or granulated) sugar in a small dish with the cornstarch, and using a fork, mix the two well to combine; set aside for a moment.
- Add the berries to a large bowl, along with the lemon zest and juice; then, sprinkle the sugar/cornstarch mixture evenly over top and gently toss to combine very well; turn the berry mixture out into your baking dish.
- Top the berries evenly with all of the crisp topping (it may look like too much, but will bake down into the crisp and shrink slightly), and bake the crisp for 50 minutes, covering it very loosely with foil for the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent too much browning, if needed.
- Allow the berry crisp to cool for at least an hour before serving, or allow it to cool completely and then chill in the fridge for a cold crisp. Serve plain, or with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!
Tips & Tidbits for my Berry Crisp:
- U-pick your berries: While I love the flavor that the combo of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries offers, you can totally use any combination of those or even just one kind. Use a total of about 2 pounds of berries (I use a hair over that), and you should be good to go.
- Cornstarch to thicken the juices: Cornstarch added to the filling ingredients will help to thicken the juices that get released from the berries as the crisp bakes. It will still be juicy (that's part of what makes a crisp so tasty!), but this will help things be less watery. Also, combine the cornstarch with the sugar in a small dish and mix well, then sprinkle over the fruit—this makes for more even distribution of the corn starch.
- Crisp-crumbly topping: A basic combo of flour, oats, butter and sugar offers a crisp-crunchy topping, but you can sub a small handful of sliced almonds or pecans in place of a portion of the oats (sub 1/4 cup), if desired. Or, simply sprinkle a tablespoon or two of sliced almonds in between the crumble like I do.