I’m obsessed with fruit desserts. I think it is because I can tell myself it’s healthy….when it is clearly not.
For this particular dessert, I was procrastinating on my usual Saturday chores – errands, cleaning, laundry, etc. – and decided that I needed to start cleaning out the food in my fridge and freezer. I swear, you would think I was starved as a child – I most definitely was not - but I unconsciously hoard food. I always buy “one more can of this” or “one more bag of that” to store in the pantry or the freezer…I think it is because I cook so much I always worry I will really want to make something, and be out of it!
So I had two bags of berries in my freezer: blackberries, and strawberries. Lord knows what my original intent with them was. I decided to make them into a crisp because a.) I luuurve crisp topping and b.) it’s super easy and c.) doesn’t involve milk or eggs, both of which I constantly seem to be out of.
For the topping: you will need oats, flour, white sugar, brown sugar (this is a diverse crisp!) and butter.
I used a cup of oats, plus the remainder of the carton. Crisp toppings aren’t exactly a science.
A cup of flour. I usually use two cups of oats, and skimp on the flour, but I ran out of oats. Whoops. It works just fine, you can bulk up the topping by adding flour.
A third of a cup of white sugar…
…and a third of a cup of lightly pressed brown sugar.
Dice up a stick of butter, and sprinkle into the bowl.
Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the mixture, and make it nice and crumbly.
I like it so that if you pinch it, it will hold its shape, but it isn’t overly buttery. I also like to stick the crisp topping in the fridge while I get the berries ready, too, because in Miami that butter would be M-E-L-T-E-D in about five seconds. Yes, even inside my apartment.
These were the berries I had: Target strawberries (sidenote: my Target is now going to be carrying produce! Yippee-ki-yay! I love one-stop shopping!), and Publix blackberries. I never buy blackberries because I always think they are a little on the tart side, but I went through a (brief) smoothie stage where I thought they might taste good.
(Turns out handwashing a blender and all of the ancillary pieces every.single.day. is not fun.)
These strawberries have been in my freezer forever, because the fresh strawberries have been soo amazing all summer that I have totally forgotten about frozen ones.
Dump the still-frozen blackberries into the baking dish…
…then the strawberries. This is not a layered dish. In fact, I have made this a few times with one of those bags of frozen mixed berries from Costco.
Add a quarter cup of flour, and a half of a cup of sugar to the mixture.
Toss it together so that it coats all of the berries.
I always see pictures of this where the berries must have been completely dry…but mine always start to melt just a little bit and they look gummy and yucky…but they don’t taste gummy or yucky.
Then sprinkle the topping over the whole shebang! (I love when there are a few spoonfuls of topping left over to snack on, too…..)
The oven temperature is 350 degrees. One thing I love about my mini-oven is that it heats up in about two seconds, so I never pre-heat. I just push “On”, wait a minute until it beeps, and it’s ready to go!
Depending on your oven and the amount of berries you are using, it will take about a half an hour to forty-five minutes to cook. I just go by the golden-brown-on-top, bubbling-around-the-edges approach and take it out when I think it looks done.
The best part: it tastes amazing. I confess, I was actually thinking about taking the rest to work with me tomorrow so that I wouldn’t eat all of it…but it just tastes so good I don’t know if I can!!
The topping with the flour is a lot finer than when you make it primarily with oats, and the topping soaks up the berry juice a lot faster. (Oh the berry juice! Divine.) I think I like the oats version better, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do when you run low on pantry ingredients!
Clearly, this was not an obstacle in finishing it.