Nothing beats a good fruit crisp. And if you’ve never had a good crisp, you must must do so. Not only are they very easy to make but they are hands down one of the best desserts ever (dare I say). They are made even better by a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of lightly sweetened whipping cream.
Good fruit is like gold. It’s expensive but worth it. My friend Rebecca who frequents the farmer’s market every Saturday often brings me “farmer’s market tastes”. It’s sometimes a single fragrant strawberry or a fig or a cherry. These little “tastes” bring so much joy to my day. The fruits in this crisp are very special. The blueberries were brought by my sister from Portland (she picked them in her backyard and then flew down to see me). The apricots and peach are from the farmer’s market in Santa Barbara and the blackberries were foraged in an impromptu trek down the road with Panza, and my friends Rebecca and John. You can use any fruit in this crisp but I really love the mixture of the stone fruit with the berries. Some of the blackberries were a bit sour which ended up creating a nice contrast to the overall sweetness of the dessert.
For the sweetener in the fruit and in the crisp topping I used piloncillo which is a hard, unprocessed Latin American brown sugar that comes in cone that you have to grate. It has a caramelly, toffee like flavor that is much more complex than other sugars. You can just substitute brown sugar if you don’t have piloncillo, but I think piloncillo adds a depth to the crumble that you won’t get with white sugar or even plain brown sugar.
You can prepare and bake these crisps in individual ramekins like I did or in a loaf pan or cake pan or you can even double the recipe and make it in a larger casserole dish. This is one of those very adaptable recipes.
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.
Piloncillo Mixed Fruit Crisps
- 1 cup blueberries
- 3 apricots, sliced
- 1 peach, sliced
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 1/4 cup piloncillo
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- heaping 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 tablespoons cold butter cut into small chunks
- 1/4 cup grated piloncillo
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For the filling: combine all fruits, piloncillo, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Spoon into individual ramekins or loaf pan.
For the topping: Combine flour, oats, sale, and piloncillo. Add butter, use fork or pastry cutter to cut butter into dry ingredients. Then get your (clean) hands in there, rubbing the butter between the oats and flour until the topping comes together into large chunks. Sprinkle on top of fruit. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown.