Crisp, Crumble, Cobbler: What’s the Difference?
For the answer to this question, I consulted the experts over at Farmers Almanac. Turns out I’d been calling my crisp a crumble all this time!
The main difference: Cobbler uses a pie crust or dropped biscuit dough on top of the fruit, while a crisp use a streusel topping, typically some combination of oats, flour, butter and sugar. Crumbles are similar to crisps, minus the oats in the topping. Now you know!
A Dessert for Any Fruit
This on-the-fly fruit crisp 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 crisp 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 crisp.
I’ve made this crisp 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 crisp!
Bring It All Together
No one wants a crisp that’s turned to juice. This recipe requires quite a bit of 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.
Berry Stone Fruit Crisp
For the Filling
- 2 lb fruit Fresh strawberries, blackberries, blueberries; stone fruit like peaches, nectarines, apples; whatever fruit you'd like!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup corn starch This amount is appropriate for very juicy berries and fruit. If your fruit is not as juicy, you may not need as much, but it won't hurt to add it anyways.
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice Substitute: 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp allspice.
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- zest of one lemon About 1 teaspoon
For the Topping
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1¼ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter Equivalent to one stick
- Wash the fruit. If needed, trim and slice. The fruit will cook down in the oven, but bite-sized pieces are recommended.
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Pull butter out of the fridge and let come to room temperature on the counter while preparing the rest of the crumble.
- Using an 8"x8" baking dish, add the fruit. Measure vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest directly into the baking dish with fruit. Stir to combine.
- In a clean bowl, add sugar, corn starch, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk to combine.
- Pour sugar and corn starch mixture over the fruit in the baking dish and mix well. You can use a spatula but I prefer to use my hands. Set aside.
- Cut the softened butter into small, manageable chunks using a knife or bench knife. Place in a clean bowl. Add in the flour, oats, and brown sugar. Mix to combine, coating the butter with the dry ingredients and breaking it down into pea-sized pieces. You can use a pastry cutter to do this, which works best. Alternatively, try a hand-held potato masher or just your hands.
- Sprinkled the topping evenly onto the fruit in the baking dish.
- Bake about 45-55 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and sticky and the topping is golden brown.
- Let the crisp stand for 15-20 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to cool and thicken thanks to the corn starch. Serve with vanilla ice cream.