You know those recipes that you just know? The things you don’t need to look up in a cookbook. The 5 things you fall back on in your cooking rotation. Mine seems to go something like this… roast chicken (and then chicken stock), bread, lasagna, chocolate chip cookies, and fruit crisps.
And that is the subject of today’s post. The humble fruit crisp … or fruit crumble (depending where you’re from).
Why bother with crisps? Crisps are easy to make and an easy recipe to remember – just a few ingredients from your pantry. They are flexible – put in any kind of fruit and add the topping. They are forgiving – no need to roll a perfect pie crust and stress about fluting the edges. You can serve them warm or cold. With ice cream or without. In fancy little dishes to be posh, or in a big bowl covered with cream to be cozy. For dessert, or a snack.
(Or, let’s be honest here … as breakfast! In my mind oatmeal + cinnamon + fruit = breakfast. Just stir it into a little bit of plain yogurt, et voila!)
I made my first strawberry rhubarb crisp of the season, the first of many to come this summer. (Although I promise I will get around to making a proper strawberry rhubarb pie, I really will!). And as you’ll see from the pictures, I made two separate dishes of crisp with the good intention of having one for myself and one for Zak.
But I am weak around rhubarb and ate one and a half of them myself. Oops.
Will have to find some more rhubarb to make round #2 next weekend.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (or Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble)
Adapted from my mom’s classic apple crisp recipe
4 cups sliced fruit
2/3 to 3/4 c. brown sugar, packed. (depending how tart your fruit is. For rhubarb, use 3/4 c. For sweet peaches and berries, use less).
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/3 c. salted butter, softened.
Heat oven to 375F. Butter an 8×8 pan, or 2 smaller dishes, or 6 individual ramekins.
Place fruit in dish. My rhubarb was especially tart so I sprinkled it with 1 TB of white sugar.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, oats, sugar and spices. Now here comes the only challenging bit of the entire recipe – mix in the butter. If the butter is soft you can do this with a spoon or your hands. If it’s slightly harder, you might use a pastry blender (see picture). You want the topping to make little crumbly bits, so spread the butter throughout until it’s crumbly, but not so much to make one solid dough.
Using your hands, sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit, breaking up any really big crumbles. If you want to be really naughty, you can put little dots of butter across the top of the crisp to make it extra crispy.
Bake for 30 minutes until fruit is tender and top is golden brown.
Eat warm, cold or room temperature. With ice cream, pouring cream, yogurt or plain. Equally delicious the next day.
Serves 6 (or 4, if you’re crisp-crazy like me)