Blueberry Crisp

Blueberry Crisp

Once upon a time I was a graduate student…a grad student who loved food.

I had grad student friends…who all loved to eat.

Which was kinda hard sometimes, living near a fantastic foodie city like Chicago…on a grad student’s budget.

But we made do, and one of our rituals were our Thursday night dinners.  Four of us would take turns hosting and cooking dinner for everyone.  We would bring our papers/clinic notes/thesis drafts/lap tops, and we would “work,” eat, and watch Friends and E.R.  On one of those Thursdays, my friend Liz called and asked, “Do you have a food processor?” I actually did, a little mini one that my friends had given me before I left New York.  Liz hurried over and brought an unfinished dessert, a Blueberry Crisp, made the topping and popped it into the oven.  Half an hour later, the aroma of cinnamon and blueberries permeated my tiny apartment.

I fell in love with blueberry crisp.  A la mode.

Shortly thereafter, I met my soon-to-be-hubby, and this was the first dessert I made for him.  I still make it today, and when I do, the scent of it baking instantly reminds me of Chicago, good friends like Liz, and the start of feeding my husband’s tummy.

I love the simplicity of this recipe.  Flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon and oats for the topping.  And while you can make the topping in the food processor, I actually prefer a good, old fashioned pastry cutter.

The pastry cutter leaves a nice crumb, and it’s very cathartic, working the butter into the flour.  Oh, and there’s less clean up (so yeah, maybe I’m just lazy in the dishes department).  This recipe is versatile; you can make it with blueberries, apples, mixed berries, or whatever fruit strikes your fancy.  If I have fresh blueberries, great, and if not, I just use frozen. And that means we can have blueberry crisp all year round!

Blueberry Crisp

Serves 4-6 | Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Filling
2 pints blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1-2 tablespoons sugar
1-2 tablespoons flour

Topping
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup rolled oats (regular oatmeal)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the blueberries, sugar and flour, and toss to mix. Put in a buttered shallow baking dish (pie pan or 8×8 brownie pan). To make topping, combine flour, sugar and butter and mix until it looks like course crumbs. Add oats and cinnamon and mix a little more. Spread topping evenly over fruit and pat down gently with your fingertips. Bake until the top is light brown and crisp, about 35-40 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream (this part is not optional).

Notes

Make ahead tip: You can easily assemble the topping or the whole crisp in advance.  Cover tightly and place in the freezer until you are ready to bake.  That makes one less thing to worry about when you’re entertaining!

Adapted from In a Shaker Kitchen: 100 Recipes From the Shaker Tradition by Norma MacMillan

Comments

    • Liren

      Cinnamon + fill-in-the-blank baking in the oven, instantly makes for a yummy smelling kitchen! So glad you agree, Denise! And yes, sometimes it’s the simple recipes that are the loveliest.

    • Liren

      Thank you! Pretty soon, we’ll be in blueberry season (not like that’s a reason to wait to make it) — hope you try it soon!

  1. ?¸¸.•*¨Skip to Malou¨¨*•.¸¸?¸

    hahaha i know how it is to be on a grad student budget and to have that with 3 kids??? oh my I don’t know how we did but hey we did it! so did you!

    the way to a man’s heart is… FOOD.. and definitely this Blueberry crisp did.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Wow Malou, hats off to you do balance the grad student budget with kids! Whew. I had several classmates with children at the time, and I always admired their perseverance. And you’re so right about the way to a man’s heart, lol. Thank goodness I can cook decently :)

  2. Tracey@Tangled Noodle

    Oh, I shouldn’t be looking at this so early before lunch – it could possibly induce me to make it for lunch! Fruit crisps are one of my favorite desserts, especially when the fruit is somewhat tart to contrast with the sweetness of the topping (drool). And of course, ice cream is mandatory!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Tracey, I think I could easily eat this for lunch if no one was watching! I’ve been known to eat it for breakfast!

    • Liren

      Thanks! I can’t decide what I like more, crisps or cobblers. I think I would say it’s 60:40, in favor of crisps (I’m a sucker for crunch).

  3. A Bowl Of Mush

    I can almost smell this just from looking at your pictures! I love a good blueberry crisp. So comforting :)
    Looks beautiful!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thank you! Blueberry crisp is definitely comfort food for us!

  4. Josie

    Hmm… I have some frozen blueberries from last summer that I should really use up… Now I just need to find eaters because a whole pan of blueberry crisp would not last long with just me (bad news).

    Reply
    • Liren

      I remember from previous tweets that you’ve got those frozen blueberries; go tap your stash and make a crisp! Even if you eat the whole pan, they’re high in antioxidants ;)

  5. Joy

    I am so used to making apple crisp. I am probably going to try this tonight for dinner. Thanks for the idea.

    Reply
    • Liren

      This topping makes lovely apple crisps too :) Hope you made this tonight and love it!

    • Liren

      Yum, for sure! I haven’t come across anyone who doesn’t like a blueberry crisp…yet!

  6. Stella

    Liren, this looks so delicious, and I love the lighting in the photo-beautiful it is. By the way, your cinnamon looks super fresh and high quality. The color is so rich. I bet that smelled wonderful with those blueberries. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Stella, you’re so observant! I have been known to splurge on my cinnamon, but I do think it makes such a big difference. I think the only better thing would be for me to grind my own!

    • Liren

      Whaaat? No cinnamon!? That’s okay, I can understand! I’m not a huge fan of nutmeg, as it turns out, so when I make apple pie, I usually omit that spice. That reminds me…once I wrote down this recipe for a friend, but instead of 1/2 tsp of cinnamon I think I wrote something terrible like 1/2 cup or something ridiculous. She made it that way — I felt so terrible about the mistake!

  7. Stephanie G.

    Crisps are so easy to make and yet so satisfying. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Stephanie! That’s *exactly* why I love crisps, too :)

  8. Jenn

    This would be the perfect snack right now, right before bed. Just not good for the hips…. hmmmm….. I’d say if I had made this, stomach > will power.

    Reply
    • Liren

      That’s the hardest part of making these yummy things — will power always loses!!!

    • Liren

      Hi Rebecca — thank you so much. That really means a lot!

  9. aruna

    Gosh those pics r killing me…………..its hard to resist and i can feel the aroma here!!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thank you! Try not to eat your computer screen, hee hee!

  10. Linn @ Swedish home cooking

    I have a recipe of a blueberry pie that is similar to this, and it is super delicius with that crunchy crust. Check out the blueberry recipe in my online cooking show, Swedish Home Cooking.

    Reply
    • Liren

      I will definitely check it out! I love crunchy toppings!

  11. Beverly

    I LOVE food that evokes fond memories, and what better food could you possibly have to evoke such memories! It looks exquisite.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Beverly, I can’t help but associate food with people and memories :) I think that by the time I am very old, my recipe book will be as precious to me as my photos.

    • Liren

      Hi Norma, thank you for stopping by and for subscribing! I hope you enjoy the crisp, let me know how it turns out. Good luck on your blogging adventures — it’s a lot of fun, as I’m finding!

    • Liren

      Yay! I’m so glad you tried it and enjoyed it :)

    • Liren

      Good luck as you start your grad school adventures. I’m very certain you’ll find obliging eaters :) Grad students are generally very appreciative of food!

  12. grace

    i’m a pastry cutter gal myself–yeah, it takes a little elbow grease, but it’s worth it! this is a great dessert. the a la mode part is key. :)

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Grace! I’ll never forget the first time I used a pastry cutter. My mom never used one and it’s not like they came with directions. At first I wasn’t sure I was doing it right…now that I’ve got the hang of it, I can’t think of using anything else!

  13. Rebecca

    Came across your blog by chance, & love how perfect Blueberry Crisp sounds! Your pictures are making me hungry. Just wondering what 6 tablespoons of butter translates to in grams? And if substituting with other fruits (eg apples), is it also 2 pints?

    Reply
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