Here we have the ultimate summer dessert. The one where you hide pieces of it in various places around the house, then excuse yourself for some lame reason, seek it out and go dig in. There are currently two pieces in our refrigerator and they will soon mysteriously disappear. That’s just the way it is with this dessert. You take a bite. Then another. Then add a scoop of ice cream. And when all that eating is done you might get amnesia because you got sensory overload and your mind short circuited due to food joy. With that warning in place, I say let’s get moving on making some just for you.
This is really and truly a very simple dessert. First, the fruit is mixed in a 13×9 inch baking dish, or individual ramekins, so let’s start there. Because it’s what I had, I used frozen, thawed peaches and boysenberries. Fresh is always better, but frozen will also send you into orbit. Just smooth them around a little bit to get mixed up. Next, mix 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or more if you are so inclined) into a cup of sugar. Sprinkle on the berries and gently toss around. Let’s just let them sit there like that for a few minutes to get their juices all fired up. In the meantime, onward to the topping. Mix together flour, sugar and cold chunks of butter, until the butter is about the size of peas. A food processor makes quick work of this if you have one. If not, cut the butter in with two knives, or just use your fingers to smoosh it all together. When you are all finished, it looks like this: And here is a secret trick: Take about 1 cup of the topping mixture, sprinkle over the fruit and swirl it all around the assorted baking dishes. The flour helps to thicken all of those juices, butter adds some richness, and we can always use more sugar.
The remaining topping mixture gets sprinkled over the top of the baking dish. If you kind of squeeze the topping between your fingers as you drop it on the fruit, you will be rewarded with nice big baked crumbles when the crisp is finished. It is difficult to resist ‘accidentally’ breaking them off in your hands and eating them when it is still hot out of the oven. I would not recommend this however, because I have scorched several fingers in that particular endeavor. Besides, it is hard to explain big, gaping holes in a freshly baked dessert.
Into a 350 degree oven for at least an hour, and sometimes an hour and a half. They key is to use your eyes, and when the juices are all boiling around the edges of the pan, and look like they are thickened, it’s probably time to come out. Also, I would strongly recommend putting a foil lined baking sheet under the crisp to catch any wayward juices from boiling over. I did not take my own advice last time, and was rewarded with a lava flow of berry juice all over the bottom of the oven. Not pretty. …Hey!! Enough talking already – how about we get that ice cream out of the freezer and get down business?
This is so easy, and so delicious. YOU CAN DO THIS – Have you secured your hiding places? Good. NOW GET GOING!!! Happy baking!! xoxoxoxo
- 5 cups skinned, sliced peaches (fresh or frozen)
- 5 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup cold butter
- If using fresh peaches: To skin peaches, submerge in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove immediately and plunge into cold water. When peaches have cooled, skins should slip right off.
- If using fresh blackberries, just wash gently in cool water and drain in a colander.
- In a large bowl, combine peaches, blackberries, cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
- In a food processor or other bowl, combine flour, sugar, and butter. Process until crumbly. If working by hand, blend ingredients together with a pastry blender or two knives until crumbly.
- Arrange blackberry & peach mixture in a 13x9 inch greased baking dish, or spoon into individual ramekins.
- Using your hands, sprinkle about ⅓ of the crumb mixture over top of the fruit, then gently stir it into the fruit mixture. Sprinkle the remaining ⅔ of the topping onto the fruit mixture. If you squeeze your hands together to form clumps its all the better!
- Bake at 350 for about an hour or until peach mixture bubbles and crust begins to brown.