Pie season is approaching. Really – is there anything more satisfying than fruit doctored with sugar and spices, cooked to a juicy pulp with a crust to mop everything up with? If pie seems too much of an effort on a week night, a crumble or a crisp is definitely easier to organize and most ingredients will be in your pantry.
I am often asked the difference between the never-ending and seemingly interchangeable fruit desserts that have mushroomed in the Anglo-Saxon world over the centuries: betty, cobbler, crisp and crumble. By no means the last word but the following might clarify the subject matter for those of you who are curious:
Betty – Layers of sweetened and spiced fruit and buttered bread crumbs or light dough.
cobbler – A fruit pie with no bottom crust but with biscuit dough haphazardly dropped on top of the fruit prior to baking.
Crisp – Same as above but the topping is typically a streusel of some sort
Crumble – Very similar to a crisp but the topping is lighter than a dough but heavier than a streusel.
If you are more confused than before, just move on to the recipe here below and take my word for it. It’s a crisp.
4 C Stone fruit, roughly chopped (peaches, nectarines, apricots or plums)
1 C Mixed Berries
1/4 C Sugar
1/2 ts Cinnamon
1/4 ts Ginger
a pinch of salt
4 oz Butter, cubed and very cold
3/4 C All Purpose Flour
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Rolled Oats (not instant)
1. Combine all the fruit in a bowl. Add sugar, spices and salt. Mix gently and transfer to a 9″ pie pan.
2. Place butter in a food processor and add brown sugar and flour. Pulse until the butter is pea sized pieces (if you don’t have a food processor, put everything in a bowl and use your hands). Add oats and mix by hand.
3. Spread the streusel over the fruit and bake at 375 for about 30/40 mins or until the fruit is bubbling and juice and the topping is browned.