The best thing about a crisp or crumble is that it’s a quick and easy dessert that you can toss together with any fruit you have on hand. Small berries can be thrown in whole; larger ones, like strawberries, are better cut in half. Stone fruits, like plums, peaches, and apricots, need to be pitted and sliced into bite-sized pieces. You can also use frozen fruit, as long as you thaw it first and drain the liquid. You might try adding a little vanilla, ginger, or grated citrus zest to the fruit for added zing. Or use some “pie spices” like cinnamon, allspice, and cardamom in the topping.
Makes six to eight servings
Preparation time: 55 to 60 minutes (includes 40 minutes of baking time)
- 4 lbs. fruit (if large, cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 1½ tbs. cornstarch
- 1 to 4 tbs. sugar, honey, or maple syrup (optional)
- 1 to 2 tbs. fresh lemon juice (optional)
- ¾ cup flour (whole wheat, spelt, or gluten-free all-purpose baking flour)
- ½ cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds
- ¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup brown sugar or granulated maple sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 stick (4 oz.) cold butter or ½ cup cold coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. For the filling, combine the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat. If adding sweetener or lemon, start by tasting the raw fruit. If it’s tart, add 1 tablespoon sweetener. If it’s a bit lackluster, add a squeeze of lemon, then taste again, adding more lemon or sweetener if necessary. Transfer to a 9-x-13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
For the topping, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut the cold butter or coconut oil into small pieces and add them into the bowl. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles lumpy sand. Scatter the mixture in an even layer over the fruit. Bake until the fruit is soft and bubbling and the topping is crisp, about 40 minutes.