Tips, Tricks and Substitutions
Can you use frozen berries for this? Yes, I’d thaw them in the microwave slightly before so they weren’t frozen when you bake them. This would work great if you don’t have access to great berries but still want berry crisp.
What types of berries can you use? I’ve tested this recipe with blueberries, blackberries and raspberries but you can use a lot of different types of fruit. Strawberries or peaches would be a good addition to this crisp too. Use what you have or what looks best at the market. Make sure you taste test the mixture to make sure it isn’t too sweet or not sweet enough. Depending on how ripe your fruit is depends on how much sugar you need to add.
How do you know when it is done? You’ll know it’s done when the berry filling is bubbling and the topping is a golden brown color. It should be crispy to the touch.
Can you top this with ice cream or whipped cream? I love having it with vanilla ice cream! It adds a nice creamy texture to the dish, but it is also delicious by itself. Whipped cream would work well too.
Do you really have to wait 1-2 hour for it to cool before you eat it? Like most foods, it is best when you wait a little while for it to cool. This will allow the berry filling to solidify slightly and not be runny and messy. If you don’t care and aren’t trying for a perfect presentation (I’m all about ugly delicious!) then go for it 10 minutes outta the oven. The ice cream will melt a lot more than if you wait a while but it still turns out delicious.
How well do you mix the berry filling? Depending on how ripe your berries are and what types you use, some berries may get pulverized. When I make it with raspberries, no raspberries remain intact. The blueberries and blackberries remain intact giving it a nice texture. No need to worry. The flavor is still in there. Make sure you taste the filling before you add it to the cast iron to make sure it is the right level of sweetness for you.
How well do you mix the topping? I add everything together in a medium mixing bowl and with my hands I break up the pieces of butter. You’ll end up with pea sized pieces of butter with a pretty homogeneous mixture of oatmeal, sugar, cinnamon, salt and flour. That’s normal.
Do you need to use cast iron for this recipe to be successful? Nope! I use cast iron because when it is preheated and you add the berry filling you get a slightly caramelized area along the sides and bottom of the pan. Also, because I don’t bake a lot of desserts, I don’t have a lot of baking pans. Cast iron is a great multipurpose pan. If you don’t have cast iron, you can use a 9x9 baking dish. You could warm the dish in the oven while the oven is preheating to get a similar effect.
Why do you preheat the cast iron skillet? I preheat the cast iron skillet so that it helps caramelize the berries on the bottom and sides of the crisp.
What size cast iron skillet do you use? I use a 10 inch skillet from Lodge. You can use a bigger one but your berries will be in a thinner layer and it may take less time to cook.
You May Also Enjoy
Cast Iron Three Berry Crisp
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- ½ pint fresh raspberries
- ½ pint fresh blackberries
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup AP flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- Juice from 1 lemon about 4 teaspoons
- 1 ¼ cup old fashioned oats
- 2 tablespoons AP flour
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- Sprinkle of ground cinnamon
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Preheat a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium low heat on the stove.
- Mix all the berries, sugar, flour, cinnamon and lemon juice together in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Don’t worry about smashing up the berries. Taste the batter to ensure it is sweet enough. Sometimes berries can be tart. If they are, add a little more sugar.
- Cut the 5 tablespoons of butter into 5 separate pieces.
- Except the ground cinnamon, mix all topping ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. It is easiest to combine with a pastry cutter or hands. It is okay to have small lumps of butter throughout the mixture.
- Add the berry filling directly into the preheated skillet.
- Top the berries in the skillet with the topping evenly. Sprinkle cinnamon over the topping and place in the oven.
- Cook for 35-40 minutes, until berries are bubbling and the topping is crunchy.
- Allow to cool to almost room temperature (1-2 houror until berry filling is set.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.
- You can use a 9x9 baking tray if you don't have a cast iron skillet.
- Frozen berries will work if it isn't berry season, make sure to thaw them first.