Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Summer Berry Crisp

This is a post from City Girl Country Life, centering around fresh berry season. The blog City Girl Country Life is heading into retirement so many of the recipes originally shared there will make an appearance here over the next several months. This story was originally published in May, 2015.


Summer is officially kicked off! That means it's time for loads of fresh fruit and berries in our gardens, farmers markets and store shelves. Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries...... so many delicious summer desserts can be made with these juicy summer favorites.

Last year here in Iowa we had an unexpected late snow and killing frost that really hurt the berry crops. Many of the pick your own berry farms nearby didn't have enough of a crop to even open. Not the case this year! I'm already seeing beautiful berries in the markets and that makes me so happy! Berry pies and crisps have always been favorites of mine, so imagine how thrilled I was today to run in to the store for just a couple things and find they have a great sale of fresh berries. You bet I grabbed some and headed home to bake something.

I could have taken the easy way out and just sliced some strawberries, tossed with the raspberries and blackberries and served draped over ice cream, but I wanted something really good, and really homey. Fruit crisps have always been among my favorite desserts. This classic recipe is a church cookbook staple, and something you can find at just about every potluck or church dinner. Often made with sliced apples or peaches, or even cherries, here I used a four berry combo to make a ruby red and crunchy crisp with loads of juicy berry goodness. Just a package of each kind of berry is all it takes. Wash, drain and you're ready to go. I quartered the strawberries so they'd be similar size and shape as the other berries. Let's bake!

Fresh Berry Fruit Crisp

1 package blackberries
1 package raspberries
1 package blueberries
1 package strawberries, quartered
1/4 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar

1 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
dash cinnamon

In a large bowl toss the berries with the sugar and cornstarch. Pile the fruit in a 9x9 baking dish.

In a medium bowl mix the topping ingredients, dry ingredients first, then use a fork or pastry blender to cut the butter in until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit.

Bake at 400 degrees about 45 minutes until bubbly and the topping is deep golden brown.

This recipe is a super simple dessert that's just as easy to throw together with frozen berries as it is fresh. I like to stock the freezer with berries when they go on sale- freeze them on a sheet pan until frozen solid, then spoon into freezer bags. You can easily measure out the amount you need when you need it! With most recipes, just add 10 minutes to the baking time if using frozen berries.

This fruit crisp is delicious with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream. It is heavenly if it's slightly warm from the oven!

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