Summer fruit crisp cooked in the most summery way

  • By Elizabeth Karmel Associated Press
  • Thursday, August 14, 2014 3:41pm
  • Life

When we think “hot off the grill,” we usually think about something meaty. But this time of year I also like to grill desserts.

In late summer, I make this grilled fruit crisp every week. It is good with whatever fruit you find at the market, ripe and ready to be mixed with a little bit of sugar, citrus and cinnamon. The addition of orange liqueur is optional, but one that I always opt for as it makes a big difference. If you don’t have any orange liqueur, a bit of bourbon is nice, too.

Since the topping of the crisp is everyone’s favorite part of the dessert, I add oatmeal and pecans to the classic butter-flour-sugar blend to make it even crunchier and more substantial.

When you toss the fruit with the sugar and cornstarch, be sure to mix well and let the fruit sit for 5 minutes to bring out the natural juices, then mix again. And when baking, make sure you bake it long enough for the cornstarch and fruit juices to bubble up and turn opaque or your crisp will taste slightly raw and gritty instead of silky smooth.

The dessert is made for easy entertaining since you can assemble it early in the day and grill it just before you want to eat it. You also could bake it in advance and serve it at room temperature.

Generally, I put the crisp on the grill over indirect medium heat right when I take the meat off the grill. That way, it is bubbling and hot when everyone is ready for dessert and I love the drama of lifting the lid off the grill in front of my guests. And of course this crisp is best served with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Summer Crisp with Pecan Streusel Topping

For the streusel topping

1cup packed light brown sugar

1cup all-purpose flour

1cup regular or quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)

1/2cup coarsely chopped pecans

1teaspoon cinnamon

1/2teaspoon kosher salt

3/4cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into small pieces

For the filling

3cups strawberries, halved

3cups blueberries

2cups blackberries or raspberries

Zest and juice of 1 orange

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/2cup granulated sugar, more or less, depending on sweetness of the fruit

1/4cup cornstarch

1teaspoon cinnamon

2-3tablespoons orange liqueur (optional)

Vanilla ice cream, to serve

Prepare a grill for medium heat, indirect cooking. For a charcoal grill, this means banking the hot coals to one side of the grill and cooking on the other side. For a gas grill, this means turning off one or more burners to create a cooler side, then cooking on that side.

To make the topping, in a large bowl combine all ingredients except the butter. Mix well. Add the butter, then use a pastry blender or forks to work it in until the mixture resembles large, coarse breadcrumbs. Set aside.

To make the filling, in a second large bowl combine all ingredients, mixing gently. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Place the berry mixture in an oven-safe 4-quart round casserole or souffle dish, or a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Crumble the streusel mixture evenly over the fruit. Place the crisp over the cooler side of the grill, cover the grill and cook for 35 to 45 minutes, or until bubbly and the top is browned. Transfer the baking dish to a cooling rack. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving: 540 calories; 210 calories from fat (39 percent of total calories); 24 g fat (12 g saturated; 0.5 g trans fats); 45 mg cholesterol; 80 g carbohydrate; 7 g fiber; 50 g sugar; 5 g protein; 135 mg sodium.

I make this crisp most often with a combination of berries, but almost any combination of fruit is delicious. Aim for a total of 8 to 10 cups of sliced fruit.

Start to finish: 1 hour. Servings: 8

More in Life

Shrimp and grits, rendered healthful and Italian? We’re in.

This recipe features a sauce made with olive oil, tomatoes and herbs instead of cheese and cream.

UFO at Paine Field playground was left by an artist — not aliens

The flying saucer at community park in Everett is a cosmic attraction.

Chef James Abbott makes Buck’s peanut butter pie at Buck’s American Cafe in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Fur & Feathers: 4 lovable dogs need homes

Meet Lola, Sadie, Scooter and Chance

Sweet baking tips: How to rescue brown sugar that’s turned hard

Soften the rock solid stuff, then try this recipe for chocolate chunk cookies with sea salt.

Valentina Bogdanova, 74, loves working in the gardens that nearly surround the Bakerview Apartments, where she has lived for 20 years. The units are among 16 affordable and subsidized properties leased to seniors by the Everett Housing Authority. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
As real estate booms, those with fixed-incomes need help

When senior citizens get housing, they are able to ‘age in place.’

Melania Trump to donate inaugural ball gown to Smithsonian

Melania Trump is donating her inaugural ball gown… Continue reading

Harry Potter exhibit marks 20th anniversary of first book

Many of the things Harry Potter fans thought were imaginary were actually based in fact — or folklore.

Visiting Germany’s Lutherland, birthplace of Reformation

The sights include the church where the first Protestant service took place in 1521.

Most Read