Summer berries are baked until gooey and jammy, then topped with an oatmeal mixture that gives a perfect crunch in every bite. Top it with vanilla ice cream to make it a delicious dessert.
Come summer, and you are blessed with these sweet and tart fresh berries, which I love and inspire me to consider all the exciting ways to use them. Berry crisp is a delicious summer dessert, where you pair the jam-like texture and tartness from the berries with a crunchy topping of oats and compliment it with the sweetness of vanilla ice cream.
All small fleshy grape-sized fruits are called berries. This is a broad term that is frequently used. This delicacy is a mixed-berry dessert since we use fresh berries including strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
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The sand-like oatmeal topping appears crumbly but, once baked, settles to a delicate crisp layer. The berries underneath bake and turn into a jam-like consistency that you can easily spoon with the crisp toppings and ice cream.
This crisp oatmeal topping differentiates a crisp from a crumble. As its name suggests, a crumble does not have a crisp layer on top. It is instead topped with a crumble-like dry mixture made of flour, butter, and brown sugar and is also known as a streusel topping.
For an autumn crisp recipe, check out my Best Apple Crisp Recipe. The best part about these crisp recipes – is hardly 10 minutes of prep time. All you do next is mix and bake. Quite simple and easy for such a delicious dessert.
For more recipes using berries, you may try – Cucumber Strawberry Salad, Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes With Strawberry Sauce, Fresh Strawberry Cake, BLUEBERRY BANANA GRANOLA BAR, and Blueberry Banana Muffin.
Perfect crispy crumb on berry filling
The highlight of this berry crisp recipe is the crispiness of the top oatmeal topping. It should have a golden brown color and should be crunchy when chewed. Many try to bake a berry crisp and sometimes end up with a less crunchy or soft topping. That spoils a good crisp.
There are a few ways to ensure you get a perfect crispy topping. Ensure enough butter is in the mix, and do not go short on butter. It is good to leave little bits of butter throughout the mixture.
For a more crispy topping, ensure you bake it until golden brown, allowing the topping to bake and crisp.
For the berry filling
Berries – I have used a ratio of fresh blueberry, strawberry, and blackberry in the ratio of 2:2:1. Frozen berries would also work in this recipe. You must increase the baking time until you see the bubbles and the topping turns crisp. (Refer to the ‘How to make’ section).
Corn starch – thickens the mixture and prevents the crisp from becoming runny.
White sugar – balances the tartness of the berries with its sweetness.
Vanilla extract – classic flavor reminiscent of desserts.
Orange juice – the citrusy flavor of orange compliments the tartness of berries and the sweetness of sugar. You can substitute it with lemon juice.
For oatmeal topping
Rolled oats/oatmeal – quick cooking is ok for oats. Oats give the characteristic crunch, which is vital for a topping.
Plain White flour/all-purpose flour – binds the rest of the ingredients and prevents the topping from crumbling.
Brown sugar – It must be loosely packed and not clumped. Brown sugar adds a depth of flavor and that caramel taste. It has fewer molasses to retain moisture and hence helps the topping become dry and crisp and not get soft.
Baking powder – makes the topping bake and rise. It acts as a catalyst for mallard reaction, giving a dark brown color and flavor.
Cinnamon powder – gives a sweet and spicy taste to the crunchy topping.
Pinch of salt – to bring out all the other flavors.
Unsalted butter – allow it to come to room temperature before you add.
How to make a berry crisp
Prep the berry filling – Clean the berries and slice larger ones into halves or quarters. Add them to the baking dish along with the rest of the ingredients for the berry filling.
Prepare oatmeal topping – Mix the ingredients for the topping in another bowl and add melted butter. Mix everything to make a crumble.
Layer and bake – Sprinkle the oatmeal topping mixture over the berry filling. Bake for 45 minutes. When you see the bubbles around the corner and the top layer has turned golden brown, know this is done.
Remove from the oven and let it come close to room temperature. Serve it with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top for that perfect summer berry dessert.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have used fresh summer berries. You can use frozen berries, and they will work equally well. Thaw frozen berries before adding them to be extra safe, or add them just before baking.
For unthawed frozen berries, you must increase the baking time by at least 5 minutes. The extra time allows berries to thaw and cook during baking.
Frozen berries might release some water, but the extra baking time should take care of it.
Do not skip or go light on the corn starch. Corn starch or plain flour is usually added to fruit crisp or crumble to absorb the water that fruits release when cooked.
Adding the suggested corn starch will not make your crisp runny.
You can refrigerate this mixed berry crisp for up to a week. You can also portion and freeze this for a long time.
From the freezer, remove and thaw it. Bake it in the oven for 10 minutes until you see bubbles again in the corner. This allows the top oatmeal layer to crisp up. You may instead heat it in the microwave but may not get the topping to crisp as you do in the oven.
Mixed Berry Crisp
- ¾ cup rolled oats / oatmeal quick cooking is ok
- ¾ cup white flour plain/all purpose
- ½ cup brown sugar loosely packed
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp cinnamon powder
- large Pinch of salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter melted
- 6 cups mixed berries I used – 400 grams blueberries, 400 grams strawberry, 200 grams of blackberry
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ⅓ – ½ cup white sugar Note 1
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon of orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9-inch baking dish.
- Clean all the berries. Slice strawberries into half or larger ones into quarters.
- Add berries to the baking dish along with cornstarch, sugar, vanilla extract, and orange juice.
- In another bowl mix all the ingredients except melted butter for the oatmeal topping. Mix in melted butter to the dry ingredients. The mixture should be a crumbly and sand- like texture.
- Sprinkle the oatmeal mixture evenly on the berry mixture.
- Bake for 40- 45 minutes or until the berries began to bubble up around the corner and the topping has turned golden brown.
- Allow it to come to room temperature or lukewarm ( while allowing the crip to cool down before serving, berries will settle and thicken further).