My family loves fruit crisps. They were a regular in the rotation of desserts at my grandparents' house, because every dinner had to end with dessert. There were a lot of crisps, cobblers, and pies because there was always seasonal fruit available at my grandparents home. I grew up helping to harvest, preserve, can, and freeze all sorts of berries, cherries, apples, peaches, and pears that we are so lucky to have in abundance here in the Pacific Northwest. Many of those fruits often found their ways into dessert all year round.
When I created this recipe, I wanted it to highlight the fruit, and use a little less butter and sugar than traditional crisp recipes. The result is a lightly sweetened, crumbly version of crisp that is quick and versatile. The type of fruit you use for the filling can change based on what you have, what's in season, or what sounds good. The rest of the ingredients stay the same. I've made this recipe using blackberries, cherries, apples, and plums, all with equally delicious results.
But you can also play around with the spices in the topping and the filling, too. Any combination of warm spices pairs well with fruit; cinnamon is a reliable choice, but experiment with ground ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, or allspice. My absolute favorite is a blend called "Cake Spice" from Penzeys, which is my dream blend of cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cloves. (This is not a paid endorsement, just a product I love and use often!)
You can also change up how you bake and serve this crisp. I found these adorable single-serving ramekins at a garage sale, and they make the perfect dish for a serving of crisp and a scoop of ice cream. But if you don't have ramekins, you can easily make this crisp in an 8x8" square baking dish, and just add a few more minutes to the baking time. No matter how you make it, just make sure you serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for the complete experience.
Original publication date: September 17, 2020
A simple, versatile crisp recipe to use any fruit in season.
I invite you to try my seasonally-inspired,
plant-based recipes to create your own