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Crisp or crumble, no matter the name, is a delight

Kate Lawson
The Detroit News

As a rule, I regard chocolate as the best dessert. Then comes summer with all the fresh fruit and berries and suddenly chocolate gets pushed aside while I concoct cobblers, crisps and crumbles using whatever seasonal fruit of the moment I’ve brought home from the farmer’s market. A simple dish of stewed fruit with a crispy crunchy topping and a scoop of vanilla ice cream is the best summer dessert ever (and if you skip the ice cream, the best breakfast, too).

I do admit, however, that I am constantly confused as to the difference between the various names. What constitutes a crisp vs. a crumble? Its got to be the in the topping, of course: Oats? Nuts? Cookies? Cobblers, I know, have a biscuit topping, but what of the other two? For that I consulted one of my favorite blogs, from the New York Times. And guess what? I’m not the only once confused. Even authoritative Martha Stewart can’t explain the difference, although she spends several paragraphs coming to no conclusion.

The only conclusion every one does agree on, however, is that if you put a warm bowl of sweet ripe fruit with a crunchy or crispy or even buttery topping nestled under a melting topping of fresh vanilla ice cream, no one is going to care what it’s called. They will dig in with great glee. Try this one and see.

Peach Blueberry Crisp

Adapted from

2 cups blueberries

2 1/2 cups peeled and sliced peaches (5-6 peaches)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

For topping:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (not instant)

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons cold butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine blueberries, sliced peaches, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, and flour. Gently toss until fruit is well coated. Let the fruit mixture sit while you prepare the crumble topping. For the topping: in a large bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Stir together with a whisk. Mix in the butter with your fingers until the mixture comes together and you have big crumbles.

Place the fruit mixture in a 2 quart ceramic or glass baking dish. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the fruit. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Serves 6.

Per serving: 411 calories; 13 g fat (7 g saturated fat; 28 percent calories from fat); 74 g carbohydrates; 54 g sugar; 30 mg cholesterol; 290 mg sodium; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber.