Universal Fruit Crisp Recipe

The garden’s in full swing. We’re already eating snow peas and lettuce and chard and strawberries, and the recently planted seedlings are springing to life. Here’s Phil’s snow pea harvest today, which we ate with our dinner; I love this time of year:

I’ve got rhubarb in two different places: The back yard garden, where it’s been for years and has been getting more and more spindly, and the front garden that Phil expanded this summer. The sad rhubarb in the back garden looks like lettuce. The front garden, with lots of sun, is producing big, beautiful leaves and stalks. After traveling for a bit, I came home to rhubarb needing a serious trim, so we had rhubarb crisp that night.

Crisps are one of my favorite fruit desserts to make because the topping is universal, the interior is versatile, and they are as delicious as pie but carry no pie-crust intimidation. Here’s the recipe for an 8 X 8 pan; for a 9 X 13, just double it.

Universal Crisp Recipe


2 to 3 pounds (about 4 cups) cut-up fruit
Sugar (none or 1/4 cup for very sweet fruits like berries, 1/2 cup or so for less sweet fruit like apples, up to 1 cup for straight rhubarb)
Optionally, a Tbsp. or 2 of citrus juice (lemon, lime, orange) and spices like cinnamon, although I rarely use these because I’m lazy


3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter

Combine the fruit, sugar, and optional spices in a greased 8 X 8 pan. Then mix up the topping, either using a fork, a mixer, or a pastry cutter (my favorite). It’ll eventually resemble small peas, which is what you want. Pour the topping over the fruit and bake for about an hour in a preheated 350 degree oven; it’s finished when it’s lovely and golden on top.


2 thoughts on “Universal Fruit Crisp Recipe

  1. I don’t know where you live but where we are, snow peas are still just sprouts coming up and we have another 3 weeks till the strawberries will be ready. Lucky you! I love crisps, and make quite a few of them. This time of year I use rhubarb. It’s what is plentiful in our spring garden. For the topping, I quadruple a recipe and store in a plastic container in the fridge. Anytime I want to make a crisp, I just scoop some out. Not just that it makes it quick, but knowing the mix is in the fridge encourages me to make crisp even on my busiest of days.

    • That is *such* a smart idea, Lili, to quadruple the recipe. I’m going to start doing that during the summer when the summer fruit is rolling in. We’re in a suburb of Indianapolis, so zone 5 on the zone maps (whatever that means). I planted the snowpeas in mid-March, and they’re busting now. The you-pick strawberry places are at their peak now, too, so this seems to prime strawberry time. I’ll be jealous, though, in three weeks when our strawberry plants are just leaves and yours are peaking. 🙂

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