With a juicy layer of fruit and a sweet crispy topping, this is the type of strawberry dessert that you want to make as soon as they appear on the market. It's very easy, uses few ingredients (only 6!), freezes wonderfully, and can be made with frozen berries too.
It's that time of year when our favorite fruit hits the market! How is a bowl of warm strawberry crisp with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream sound to you right now? Pretty much the best summer dessert around here. And, if you follow this recipe, you can be eating it in an hour, maybe less!
I think crisps, crumbles, and cobblers are the pinnacles of easy desserts that can be whipped up quickly. Or have frozen at all times. And during strawberry season, when we are surrounded by pounds of strawberries everywhere, a fruit crisp recipe is a good thing to have at arm's length. You can use it with any fresh berries, so yes, it's a saver.
Mi ideal easy strawberry crisp has brown sugar, lime juice and develops a syrupy sauce while it bakes that is to die for! In an ideal world, I would eat it all up with a spoon. That's how great it is.
Only 6 ingredients
I could've made it 5, but I think some sort of citrus is very much needed to balance out the sweetness of the crumble and the seasonal, juicy strawberries. So I added lime juice because it's freaking amazing with strawberries! I learned that years ago when making the Strawberry Danish Braid.
- Strawberries: though I will always favor fresh strawberries, this is a dessert that is phenomenal with frozen ones also. Don't don't refrain from making it just because it's not the season.
- Brown sugar: it adds a great caramel note that goes wonderful with the rest of the flavors. Light or dark brown sugar, both work. But some white sugar can be used for the fruit, especially if the berries are on the sour side.
- Lime: or lemon, both work well.
- Butter: unsalted butter, the brand you normally use at home.
- Cornstarch: it thickens the sauce when it mixed with the strawberry juices that are released during baking.
- Flour: regular all purpose flour works fine. If you only have cake or pastry flour use it also, don't go out to buy AP just for this recipe.
Though I think lime pairs better with strawberries, you can also use lemons 🍋 which are more readily available.Vintage Kitchen Tip
For me, it's the star part of this dessert. It's a saucy, syrupy filling that is fantastic.
- Cornstarch - it's a small amount and the results are amazing. This thickener is mixed with the fruit and when the crisp bakes it will mix with the natural juices that the strawberries release. The result is a sweet syrup that you'll want to eat with a spoon!
- Mixing: I mix the filling ingredients directly in the glass dish I'm using, but you can use a large bowl to mix them separately and then dump the strawberry mixture in the baking dish. But, you know, using a separate bowl means and extra thing to wash later.
There are not enough words to explain how much I love a good, buttery crumb topping. It enhances most baked goods when add a layer of it.
- Easy: just 3 ingredients that can be mixed by hand or in a processor.
- Freezable: you can make-ahead and have frozen for when you need a last-minute dessert.
- Versatile: use different sugars, a mix of flours, ground nuts, oil as we do in the Lemon Blueberry Crumb Cake, or try a new flavor combination as we did with the Chocolate Apple Crisp.
How to make crumble
- Mixing: I combine the dry ingredients with the butter by hand (or with a pastry cutter or pastry blender sometimes) in a bowl because it's a small amount, unless I'm making a large batch to freeze for later. In that case, I use a food processor, being careful not to over process it and have a paste more than a crumble.
- Butter: I use cold butter in pieces and make streusel the old-fashioned way. But you can use melted butter. The technique is slightly different and I wrote both options in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Strawberries - use fresh or frozen. Cut them up small so they're easier to eat.
- Citrus - you can use more or less lime juice and/or lime zest depending on your palate. Lemon juice is a good substitute, and orange juice pairs wonderfully too, but, if using very sweet strawberries, this crisp dessert might be too sweet.
- Sugar - brown sugar gives it a caramelized undertone, but regular white sugar can be used, same amount.
- Cornstarch - it thickens the sauce, but if you don't have any make this dessert anyway. The filling will be more fluid, that's all.
- Serving - slightly warm with a scoop of ice cream or a spoonful of whipped cream is the best way IMO. But still, some of my family members think that plain at room temperature is the way to eat it. They also like a floury crumb topping not a crispy one, so let's say we don't agree when it comes to how to all parts of this fresh strawberry crisp.
It keeps well at room temperature for a day if the place is cool. After that, wrap it and refrigerate it for up to a week. Warm slightly before eating and top with a scoop of ice cream for the best experience imo.
Freezing: this is a fantastic dessert to have frozen, after it's fully baked. Warm it directly in a medium oven for 20 minutes or maybe more. Alternatively, you can freeze the crumble and the strawberries separately. It will take 10 minutes to put together and then baking time.
For other frozen dessert ideas (and baked goods) I put together a simple Freezer Baking & Dessert Guide that you might like to check out.
Frequently asked questions
Refrigerate it after a day if you have leftovers, always covered in plastic wrap or in an airtight container. It will last 4-5 days. If you're not eating the leftovers in the next few days of baking it, freeze it for a month, also well covered.
You can, and they will last for a few months. Rinse quickly and dry them, then hull them. This way you can use them directly frozen. Keep in mind that strawberries will never regain their freshness and firmness after thawed. I highly recommend cutting them in half or in a few pieces before freezing. That way it's easier to use them in desserts and smoothies.
Between 3 to 6 days, depending on how ripe they are to begin with. I buy strawberries and refrigerate them in the box. Then rinse and hull when I'm about to use them.
You can make this strawberry crisp, homemade strawberry sauce, strawberry cream pie and strawberry pie with jello, and the easiest strawberry ice cream ever, to name a few recipes in this blog. They're great for smoothies, for breakfast as a topping for waffles or oatmeal, to serve with cheesecake, shortcake and pound cake. And to eat on their own!
Related recipes you might like:
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Juicy and sweet, this is the type of strawberry dessert that you want to make as soon as they appear in the market. It's very easy, uses few ingredients, freezes wonderfully, and can be made with frozen berries!
For the strawberries:
- 1 pound strawberries, fresh or frozen (if using frozen fruit, use directly from freezer and add 1 extra teaspoon of cornstarch)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Juice of 1 lime
- Zest of ½ lime, optional
For the crumble:
- 1 cup (135g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (100g) brown sugar
- ⅓ cup (80g) unsalted butter, cold, in pieces (for using melted butter, see Notes)
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Have ready a 9-inch round, oval or square glass or ceramic dish.
For the strawberries:
- Wash, dry, discard stems, and cut them in small pieces.
- Put in the prepared dish.
- Drizzle with the juice (and zest if using), brown sugar, and cornstarch. Mix lightly in the dish with a spoon.
For the crumble:
- In a bowl mix flour and sugar.
- Add butter in pieces and integrate with your hands until grainy and the butter is the size of peas. You can do this in a food processor.
- You can also add the lime zest to the crumble if you want to.
- Top the strawberries with the crumble mixture. It will cover the surface irregularly and the edges will not have much. That’s fine.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, until dry, golden and the fruit is bubbly.
- Let cool on a wire rack until warm and eat with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Strawberries: use fresh or frozen. Cut them up small so they're easier to eat.
Butter: if you want to make the crumb topping with melted butter (instead of cold) put the sugar in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and mix with a fork or spoon. Add the flour and mix lightly. Spread on the strawberry filling or refrigerate until ready to use.
Lime: you can use more or less juice depending on your palate. Lemon juice is a good substitute if that's all you have.
Sugar: brown sugar gives it a caramelized undertone, but regular white sugar can be used, same amount.
Cornstarch: it thickens the sauce, but if you don't have any make this dessert anyway. The filling will be more fluid, that's all.
Serving: warm with a scoop of ice cream or a spoonful of whipped cream is the best way IMO.
Freezing: this is a fantastic dessert to have frozen. Warm directly in a medium oven for 20 minutes or maybe more. Alternatively, you can freeze the crumble and the strawberries separately. It will take 10 minutes to put together and then baking time.
- Serving Size: ⅙
- Calories: 277
- Sugar: 24.6 g
- Sodium: 8.8 mg
- Fat: 10.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 44.2 g
- Protein: 2.8 g
- Cholesterol: 27.1 mg
Keywords: strawberry crisp