You know summer is getting close when the days start getting longer and insulated boots get traded in for flip-flops.
But for me, nothing says summer is around the corner like baskets of red sun-ripened strawberries from the grocery story, or better yet, fresh from a local fruit stand or field.
When I saw berries for sale, I knew that I needed to make something that highlighted that distinct fruit flavor. I looked up several recipes that featured strawberries from salads, to crepes, to pies, but the one that captured my attention was this simple crisp. No rolling out crusts or beating butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Just simple fresh ingredients. Blended and baked until the bubbly juices mixed with the buttery-oat mixture on top.
I can’t help but think of when our kids were little and I would take them to a U-Pick strawberry patch with my friend Ginger. We would walk down the rows of green foliage dotted with berries, ready to be picked. One by one, we plopped red sun ripened morsels into buckets until we had enough to make oodles of jam and other baked goods.
There is something to be said for canning jam within a few hours of picking berries.
This dessert reminds me of that flavor.
Pure and simple.
Serve warm or cold. I love adding a dollop of vanilla greek yogurt on mine, but a scoop of ice cream or a spoonful of whipping cream is nice as well.
- 4 cups of sliced strawberries - about two heaping baskets
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 Teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- lemon zest optional
- 3/4 cup quick oats
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 6 Tablespoons butter
- pinch of salt
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Lightly coat an 8X8 pan or 4- 8 oz, ramekins. In a pinch, I even used small mason jars!
- In a bowl, stir together strawberries. sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. and fill prepared baking dishes.
- Strawberries will cook down.
- In another bowl combine oats, brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. cut in butter using a pastry blender of finger tips until mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of rice.
- Cover the strawberries with the crumble topping.
- Put ramekins or baking pan on a cookie sheet to catch drips as the fruit begins to bubble out. Trust me, you will thank me for this!
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until the juices are bubbling up and the oat topping is a golden brown.
- Let set for 10 to 15 minutes or until cool.
- Serve with ice cream if desired.