Spring has arrived in south Louisiana! My second favorite season of the year, with its moderate temperature, flocks of robins, and gorgeous blue skies, spring makes me impatient to do things. What things? Well, it always seems to hinge upon the cleaning of something: the garage, the patio, the gardens, and in this instance, my freezer. I do so love cranberries, that I hoard them once they appear in the market. My freezer is bursting with bags of the gorgeous garnet-colored little jewels as I just didn’t bake enough cranberry-filled desserts this winter. So, I decided to start using them along with other frozen fruit in my desserts. Up first is today’s lovely crisp. I used a combination of 5 different berries because that’s what I had in my freezer. You can create your own individual mix, although you may want to increase the sugar. Speaking of which, you’ll notice I used turbinado sugar, as it’s become my new favorite pantry item. Feel free to substitute brown sugar or half brown and half granulated. If you can, though, buy yourself a box and give it a whirl.
I brought the crisp to work on Tuesday, still warm from my oven, and it was a big hit. I loved the flavor of the lime with the berries and the warm spice of the cinnamon; if you don’t have any limes, you can certainly use lemons. We didn’t have any ice cream in the office freezer, but we did have a can of aerosol whipped cream, which was a nice addition. Ice cream, however, would make this a nearly perfect treat – each bite is like a fresh, spring breeze.
Mixed Berry Crisp Printable recipe
• 2 lbs mixed berries (cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries)
• ¾ cup turbinado sugar (brown sugar is fine)
• 2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• Juice and zest of 2 limes
• 2 cups flour
• 1 ½ cups oats
• 1 ½ cups turbinado sugar (half brown and half granulated can be substituted)
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
• 2 tablespoons cold water
1. Butter or spray a large casserole dish (13×9 pan works well); set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine berries, ¾ cup turbinado sugar, 2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon vanilla, juice and zest of 2 limes. Pour mixture into prepared dish.
3. Make crisp topping
4. Whisk together the flour, oats, turbinado sugar, cinnamon, and salt. With the paddle of the mixer or your fingers, work butter into dry mixture, until mixture is sandy. Gingerly toss ingredients with 2 tablespoons of water.
5. Evenly distribute crisp topping over fruit and place into pre-heated oven.
6. Bake for 75-90 minutes, or until fruit is bubbly and crisp is medium golden-brown.
7. Serve warm as is or with vanilla ice cream.