Hello friends! How’s that social distancing going? I’m hearing a term called ‘quarantine fatigue’ which means people are getting really tired of being at home and are venturing out when maybe that’s not the best strategy. It’s hard to keep in touch with those we care about just through texting, phone conversations, or Zoom, and I’m sure that’s a contributing factor. Missing that physical proximity with our friends is a big deal, and really hampers those conversations that have to be in person. I’m experiencing that with a couple of friends right now, and maybe you are too. I can’t do anything to make their situation better, so I’m feeling pretty useless at the moment. I know our friendships will survive and there will be better days ahead, so in the meantime let’s just do the best we can, reach out as best we can, and practice understanding and compassion for those we can’t hug in person at this moment. And in the ‘Let’s be good to ourselves’ segment of the Blog today, how about we talk about strawberry crisp for a minute or two?
I wasn’t really sure what to call this recipe, and it’s had a long and winding road to end up where it is today. A year ago, I was trying to create a Strawberry Jam Bar cookie recipe – I needed to use of a bunch of excess strawberry jam from the previous year. I took an existing recipe, doubled the jam, and sent it out to tasters, who proclaimed that it had ‘too much jam’ – oops. They were right – it did have too much jam, which resulted in it tasting way too sweet. Then a few weeks ago, my ‘pretend daughter’ Allie sent me a photo of a Strawberry Crumble she’d made. It looked delicious, with a crumbly topping and plenty of fruit. Allie is an excellent and adventurous cook, is kind, smart and wickedly funny. And if I had a real daughter, I’d hope she’d be just like Allie. Back to the recipe… Wait a second…that’s it!! Make a bar cookie with big chunks of fresh fruit in addition to the jam. On the plus side, it’s got a ton of fruit flavor and is a lot less sweet, but on the other side, it’s no longer a cookie bar. So, it’s kind of a cookie, kind of a crumble, but really neither. So, I’m calling it a strawberry crisp. It was either that or I’d have to call it ‘I Have No Idea What the Hell This Is’ which probably wouldn’t have worked very well on Pinterest.
This strawberry crisp is a cool breeze to make. The crust and topping are actually the very same thing, so no fussy top and bottom separate crusts. Kind of like a double crumbly shortbread cookie that has added oats and brown sugar, which in my book is a win-win. This guy gets a lot of flavor from added strawberry jam, so there isn’t a need to add more than a smidge of extra sugar other than that. Another added bonus is that you can make this in an 8×8 inch baking dish, or break it up into two smaller ones. I split mine up and made this little guy for my mom, Neeners, and kept the bigger one for me and Dick (generosity has it’s limits).
You are the judge when it comes to serving. Its really good right out of the oven if you can’t wait. If you’re looking for a firmer filling, just cool to room temperature and chill in the refrigerator overnight. Either way, this strawberry crisp a keeper. I don’t need to tell you that everything is better with ice cream because we all know that to be true.
I hope you love this strawberry crisp as much as we do, and thanks so much for spending time with me today. I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to send me any comments, questions on suggestions you may have. I promise to reply to every note received, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’d like to make your own jam for this recipe, here’s a link to my Easy Strawberry Jam
And if you’re in the market for another easy and delicious strawberry recipe, you might want to try this Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
- FOR THE CRUSTS
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup oats (regular or quick cooking – it might be best to use quick cooking if you don’t have a food processor. You can still use regular oats if you don’t have one and it will be just fine, especially if you like the added chewy texture of the regular)
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ sticks of butter
- FOR THE FILLING
- 5 cups strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and cut into halves (Note: the better the berry, the better this Crisp will be. I used Hoods, which are usually available the month of June and have an intense berry flavor. Any fresh and local strawberry will work, but the color may not be as bright red as with Hoods, that are red through and through.
- ½ cup strawberry jam
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- FOR THE CRUSTS
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Generously butter a 9x9 or 8x8 inch baking dish. Note: This recipe generously fills an 8x8, or 2-quart baking dish. Any baking dish you have that approximates that will work. I’ve got a couple of smaller oval dishes and split the recipe between the two of them, so just look around your kitchen and see what works best for you.
- In a food processor or large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt. Mix or pulse to combine.
- Cut the butter into tablespoon sized pieces and add to the flour mixture. If using a food processor, pulse until the butter is coarsely mixed in. This means you can still see little pieces of butter, but it’s not pulverized in there. Little pieces are about ¼ the size of a pea in my way of thinking. If you don’t have a food processor, use a pastry blender tool or two knives and keep cutting the butter into the flour until you get the same result.
- You will have a total of about 4.5 cups of the topping/crust mixture. Use 3 cups to sprinkle into the bottom of your baking dish(s), then pat down gently.
- Place the baking dishes on a cookie sheet (I like to line mine with foil to avoid clean up on potential future spillovers) and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the crust starts to turn light brown around the edges.
- FOR THE FILLING
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the strawberries and strawberry jam.
- In a tiny bowl, combine the cornstarch and sugar.
- Stir the cornstarch and sugar mixture into the strawberry mixture and keep stirring until blended.
- TO ASSEMBLE AND FINISH BAKING
- When you remove the crust from the oven, immediately spoon the strawberry mixture over the top.
- Take the remaining ⅕ cups of the crust and topping mixture and smoosh it over the top of the berries. By smooshing, I mean to grab a handful of the topping, and smoosh it between the palm of your hand and your thumb as you drop it onto the strawberries. You’ll feel the butter come together in your hands and create larger crumbly pieces. This adds more texture to your finished dish because it will be a little crispy.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. The fruit should be bubbly and look thickened around the outsides of the baking dish, and the top should be golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool. This recipe works best if the crisp can set up overnight in the refrigerator, but who am I kidding? Go ahead and dive right in!! Ice cream or whipped cream would be really good with this one.