I love baking–truly. It’s delicious, always well received, and fun. It can also be a royal pain because it requires a greater level of precision than cooking. No dashes or guesstimated measurements, just patience and attention to detail. But sometimes I want a dessert that comes together in say, minutes. With no fuss. And still tastes good. Demanding I know, but I discovered the answer a while ago: crisps!
Berry crisps, apple crisps, pear crisps, hodgepodge of fruit crisps-done, done, done, and done. and easier than pie (seriously).
Crisps are all the goodness of a fruit pie or cobbler, with a lot less work, and less bad-for-you calories. You can use frozen fruit from your grocer, or apples and/or pears you might have lying around that need to get used, anything really. For this recipe, I’m using two bags of frozen fruit I grabbed at the commissary, but it’s easy to substitute! All you need to do is…
- Get enough frozen berries/fruit to fill your desired pan…mine was a pretty standard 9in square. I got one bag of frozen berries, and one of dark, sweet de-pitted cherries.
- Place enough fruit filling in the baking dish so that it’s nearly full.
- Add 1/2-3/4 cup sugar, the juice of one lemon (or orange), and some zest if you’re feeling fancy. Toss the berries, sugar, and lemon juice around until everything is nice and coated. **if you want to make your crisp’s filling less runny, mix 2-3 tablespoons of instant clear gel (easy to get on Amazon.com) in with the sugar before you add it to the berries! Use less cleargel for less watery fillings, like apples**
That’s it for the filling…next you’ll need a sufficiently crispy topping for your crisp….
- Mix 1 generous cup of oats with a sprinkling of cinnamon (your call), 3/4 cup flour, some brown sugar (again, as much or as little as you’d like), and 1/2 cup very cold butter cut into smallish pieces. Mix this until the butter is fairly well incorporated, and the flour/oats are mixed.
Very gently and with a lot of flair so as to impress everyone, dump the topping onto the filling until covered. Now bake at 350 degrees for about 40+minutes, or until the filling is bubbling up around the topping. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving. Epic on its own, and dreamy with ice cream. It’s even better the next day, straight from the fridge for breakfast with some plain greek yogurt.
Obviously you’ll need more topping if you’re making a bigger pan (more for breakfast!!) so just double it as your needs dictate. You can always freeze the extra topping for next time.
Other delicious fillings could be apples with extra cinnamon, some honey, a little orange zest and cranberries…orrrr pears, orrrr peaches…the possibilities are endless, and delicious. Sometimes I add slivered almonds to my topping, or a little granola if I have some good stuff on hand. It is entirely up to you–you can’t ruin a crisp, I promise!
Next time your sweet tooth gets a little needy, but you don’t have the time or energy to create something special, just make a crisp with what’s on hand. You, and anyone else you’re feeding if you’re kind enough to share, won’t be disappointed.