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How to Make a Crisp with Any Kind of Fruit

Created September 26, 2018
Fruit Crisp
Warm, bubbly crisp is about as comforting—and easy—as dessert gets. Learn to make it with whichever ingredients you have and you’ll be ready for dessert anytime!

We’re big fans of crisps, but that’s hardly exceptional—just about everyone loves these gooey, warm and comforting desserts. And for a good reason: fruit crisp is incredibly simple to make with a just a few pantry-staple ingredients, plus fruit. And you can be flexible with your fruit—grab what’s on the counter, in the fridge or even the freezer—and get baking!

The Framework:

There are two elements to making any fruit crisp: the streusel and the fruit filling. For the streusel, you need 3/4 cup each flour and oats, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of the spice of your choice and 1/2 cup cold butter to cut into the dry mixture. For the fruit filling, you need 6 cups fresh fruit, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 to 4 tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon of the spice of your choice and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

Here’s how to put it all together:

Framework Fruit Crisp

The Ingredients

To get started, gather ingredients from each of these categories:

  • Dry ingredients: Flour, oats, brown sugar, sugar
  • Spice (your choice): Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, allspice
  • Fat: Cold butter
  • Fresh fruit (your choice): Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, dark cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, apples, pears
  • Lemon juice

The Method

Method Fruit Crisp

Now that you’ve picked your perfect ingredients, you’re just four steps away from the crisp of your dreams:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Make the streusel. In a bowl, mix the flour, oats, brown sugar and spice. Cut in cold butter to form pea-sized pieces.
  2. Stir additional spice into streusel, if desired.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the chopped fruit or berries, sugar, spice, flour and lemon juice.
  4. Pour fruit mixture into a 2-quart baking dish; top with streusel and bake 30-35 minutes until topping is golden brown and juices are bubbling.

Baking Tips

Follow these expert tips that’ll make you a crisp expert in a few seconds flat:

  • When making streusel a light touch and just mixing until crumbly will help give a nice texture to the crisp.
  • A pastry blender or fork is recommended as a good way to break down the butter.
  • If using a fruit that needs to be cut, make sure they are similar in size so they bake evenly.
  • You can make individual fruit crisps by dividing the fruit filling evenly among ramekins and topping each with streusel. Bake time will be shorter, so keep an eye on crisps while in the oven.
  • It’s not necessary to peel the fruit for a crisp—it’s up to you!

Try It Out

Two of our favorite crisp recipes are made using the guidelines above. If you prefer to work from a kitchen-tested recipe, try one (or both) of these first!