It’s nearing the end of summer (I *refuse* any suggestion that our warm sunny season is over), and I’m working on putting as much summer fruit in my face as possible before the end of season. Streusel and I also decided that while we’re piling in the berries and stone fruits, we should also take the opportunity to define the differences between cobblers, crumbles, crisps and buckles. I’m starting things off this month with this Summer Fruit Crisp.
Before we get to defining our desserts, it’s important that I announce this: this Crisp is a dream. It’s so good – packed with sweet peaches and fragrant ripe strawberries, with a lid of hearty oats, crunchy almonds and warming spices, it tastes like all the best parts of summertime.
But! Let’s get to the scholarly part of this blog post.
It’s the topping that makes a crisp a crisp. Usually, for crisps, the topping includes a combination of oats, nuts, butter, sugar, flour, and spices. It’s very vaguely like a granola on top. One of the things I really like about crisps is that it’s totally different than a pie – and since I’ve come to really love pie, whenever I make a cobbler or something with a dough-like situation, I always wonder why I wound’t just make a pie instead (which, BTW, is a question we’ll answer later this month!). A crisp is a different situation entirely.
A few notes about this crisp:
I highly suggest using the clear jel, if you have it. It works so well as a thickener, which is needed in this recipe because of all the wet fruit
Frozen fruits can be substituted, but you may want to up the sugar a bit. I used super ripe fresh fruit, which means it was likely much sweeter than what we’ll find in the frozen fruit section
1 to 2 cups fresh chopped strawberries (or berry of your choice)
2 1/2 tablespoons (25g) Instant ClearJel
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup softened butter, cut in to cubes
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9″ x 9″ pan or similar-sized casserole dish with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, gently mix the peaches with the lemon juice.
In a separate small bowl, whisk the ClearJel with the sugar and salt, then pour over the fruit. Toss gently with the fruit, then spoon in to the prepared pan. Sprinkle the chopped berries on top.
Make the topping by first putting the almonds in to the bowl of a food processor and pulsing a few times, until the almonds are roughly chopped. Then add in the brown sugar, flour, oats, and spices, then mixing in the soft butter until the mixture is crumbly.
Sprinkle the topping over the fruit mixture, being sure to distribute it evenly.
Bake the crisp for 40 to 50 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
Remove from the oven, and cool briefly before serving.
Strudel and Streusel are two friends living in different cities, sharing a love of baking (and butter) through this blog. With Streusel in Denver, and Strudel in Seattle, we've found our little site to be a great way to stay in touch, share recipes we love, and talk about experiences in our respective cities.