Recipe: On-The-Fly Fruit Crumble

Crumble vs. Cobbler. The main difference: Cobbler uses a pie crust or dropped biscuit dough on top of the fruit, while crumbles use a streusel topping, typically some combination of oats, flour, butter and sugar. Now you know!

This On-The-Fly Fruit Crumble is my go-to when I need dessert STAT. If using berries, you can throw this crumble together in 10 minutes flat. Bring it to a potluck, or let it bake while dinner is cooking! It’s a foolproof recipe that relies heavily on ingredients already in your pantry. No mixer required!

This crumble is also a great way to use up fruit that is right on the edge of turning bad. Even berries or stone fruit that are a little too soft to eat cook up nicely in the crumble.

I’ve made this crumble with various combinations of blueberries, apricots, strawberries and blackberries. I even tried it with only strawberries (super delicious). The point being, as long as your measurements are the same as the recipe, it will be great!

Choose your favorite combination of berries and/or stone fruits. Go with what’s in season, or what looks best at the market. That’s the true secret to a good crumble!

No one wants a crumble that’s turned to juice. This recipe requires corn starch, which helps to bind all the juices together as they cook out of the fruit. Lemon juice & zest provide a contrast in flavor, and also help to draw out those juices! The topping crisps up nicely and also absorbs some moisture, resulting in a perfectly sweet, tart, crunchy, jammy crumble every time.

INGREDIENTS

For Filling:

  • 2 lb fruit (fresh berries and/or stone fruits work best).
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar.
  • 1/2 cup corn starch.
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (can substitute with 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp allspice).
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • 2 tsp lemon juice.
  • Zest of one lemon.

For Topping:

  • 1 1/4 cup All-Purpose flour.
  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar.
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Wash your fruit. If needed, trim and slice. The fruit will cook down in the oven, but bite-sized pieces are recommended.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pull butter out of fridge and let come to room temperature on the counter while preparing the rest of the crumble.
  3. Using an 8″x8″ baking dish, add fruit. Measure vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest directly into baking dish with fruit. Stir to combine.
  4. In a clean bowl, add sugar, corn starch and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk to combine.
  5. Pour sugar and corn starch mixture over fruit in baking dish and mix well. You can use a spatula, but I prefer to use my hands. Set aside.
  6. Cut softened butter into small, manageable chunks using a knife or bench knife. Place into a clean bowl. Add in flour, oats and brown sugar. Mix with hands to combine, coating the butter with the dry ingredients and breaking it down into pea-sized pieces. The heat of your hands will help to soften the butter and better incorporate it. At this point, you are making the “crumble” and that is exactly how the texture should be!
  7. Sprinkle the topping evenly onto fruit in baking dish.
  8. Bake about 45-55 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and sticky and the topping is golden brown.
  9. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy!

Author: Lauren Harvey

Creative writer, home cook, SLO Life Magazine Health writer and wife always making, learning and finding new adventures. Living by grace. Prone to wander.

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