My husband’s birthday was yesterday! It’s become a tradition for me to bake him a blackberry crisp — this was the 3rd year! I had a trusted recipe that I used the past 2 years, but somehow lost it and couldn’t find it online anywhere. I ended up just winging it and it turned out great.
I will tell you right now that this recipe is not a healthy recipe. I used organic ingredients and my version happened to be gluten free, but organic and gluten free do not mean healthy. Sometimes you just gotta live a little. 😉
Before we jump into the recipe, let’s talk crisps vs crumbles vs cobbler vs pie. This website does a good job of explaining it all, but I’ll give you a synopsis.
Crisp — A fruit filled dessert with an oat topping.
Crumble — A fruit filled dessert with a non-oat topping. (Can contain nuts and seeds.)
Cobbler — A fruit filled dessert with a biscuit topping.
Pie — A fruit filled dessert with a pie crust topping and sometimes a pie crust bottom.
Now that we have that straightened out, let’s talk this Blackberry Crisp. You could easily cut the sugar way down to make it more reasonable. If you don’t like a lot of topping, just make half of the topping part. You can use fresh blackberries, but it will likely take less time to cook — just keep an eye on it.
2 1/2 lbs blackberries (40 oz — more or less is fine)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch, arrowroot or tapioca flour
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 cups oatmeal
3/4 cups flour (I used coconut flour, but all-purpose would work too)
2 sticks butter, melted (I know, I know…but I warned you!)
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar (light or dark is fine)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2-4 tablespoons milk of choice (I used almond milk)
In a large bowl, toss all of the filling ingredients together
— Don’t worry about being able to see the white corn starch. As it sits and macerates, it will soak it all up. The corn starch is what makes the filling thick and syrupy, instead of liquidy and runny.
Set it aside for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally
After the 2 hours, stir it real well and smash the berries with the back of a spoon or fork
— Don’t smash them into oblivion. It’s ok to have some whole berries and some smashed.
Pour into a 9″ pie pan
Preheat oven to 400°F
In a food processor or blender, pulse the oats a few times
— Again, don’t pulse them into oblivion. It’s ok to have some whole oats and some oat flour. Just a few pulses should do the trick.
Mix together all of the topping ingredients (except for the milk) in a large bowl, being sure to really incorporate the butter throughout
Add the milk a tablespoon at a time, stirring after each one
Once the mixture resembles oatmeal cookie dough (can be formed into little balls without being too dry and crumbly, but isn’t sticky) you’re ready to go
Pick up small handfuls of the topping, squeeze it in your palm to compress it and drop it on top of the blackberries
Cover loosely with aluminum foil, place on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour
Remove the aluminum foil and bake for another 20 minutes
Remove from oven and allow it to cool completely before serving
— You can reheat it in a 350°F oven for about 10-15 minutes, if you want to serve it warm with ice cream. (Which I recommend!)