Berries and stone fruit crisp made with an oat, butter...

Berries and stone fruit crisp made with an oat, butter and sugar topping. Credit: Marge Perry

Warm weather, long days and glorious desserts — this is what summer is all about.

Make this crisp with whatever fresh fruit looks best to you: blueberries, strawberries, peaches, nectarines … there is no wrong combination. And don’t fret about amounts, either. Making a crisp is every bit as carefree as summer should be. If you have a little less fruit, the crisp will be shallower in the pan and bake a little more quickly — and if you have a little more fruit and it will be higher and take a few minutes longer.

Oh, and listen: you can fill the baking dish all the way to the top, because as the fruit cooks, it settles down. To avoid getting sticky fruit all over your oven, place a piece of foil under your baking dish. That works better than putting a pan under it, because the pan affects the heat distribution in your oven — and also, because then you risk having to clean a pan, and who wants that?

If you are heading to anyone’s house for a socially distanced Fourth of July cookout, bake the crisps in two disposable 9-inch pie plates. Bring one to your friends, and stash the second in your freezer. If you are baking it to eat at home, you can still make them in two disposable pans, of course: one to eat tonight and one to freeze.

I prefer to freeze the crisps unbaked, but either way works. I also often like to make extra topping and freeze that in a container. (I find a million uses for it: I sprinkle it over baked apples or squash in the fall, for example.)

Here are the basic guidelines, but by all means, make this your own. Add chopped nuts to the topping, and perhaps a touch of cardamom nutmeg, cinnamon or ginger. Use any fruit you fancy in the filling, and consider adding a pinch of spice to the fruit, as well.



1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick (4 ounces) butter, cut in bits


8 cups assorted berries

2 pounds stone fruit (such as peaches), cut in wedges

1 cup sugar (or to taste, depending on how sweet the fruit is)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

1/3 cup al-purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat two 9-inch pie plates with cooking spray.

2. Make the topping: combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the sugar mixture with your fingertips until it is well-combined.

3. Make the filling: Combine the fruit, sugar, extract and flour in a bowl and toss thoroughly. Spoon into the two pie dishes. Sprinkle evenly with the topping.

4. Place the crisps in the middle of the oven and bake until the fruit is bubbling up the sides a bit and the topping is golden, about 40 minutes. Allow the crisp to cool somewhat before serving. Makes 2 (9-inch) crisps.

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