Any Fruit Crisp with Streusel Topping

Apple Crisp is American as Apple Pie, but fruit crisps are so good with many fruits or combinations. I’ve been making variations with this simple recipe for years – so easy it’s almost a non-recipe. Don’t let that fool ya, though, these crisps are always beautiful, brimming with fresh fruit flavor.

Any Fruit Crisp - this is Apple with the addition of Ginger Caramel
Any Fruit Crisp – this is Apple with the addition of Ginger Caramel Sauce

This isn’t “my” recipe – I have it in my head it might have been developed by Pam Anderson, author of How to Cook without a Book and many other cookbooks!

Go figure, huh? I don’t know about you, but I need my recipes and could hardly live without my books, magazines & the internet! For one thing, I have no memory for details, but I can and do remember marvelous food! And want to have it again and again and pass on treasured food memories to my kids and grandchildren. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to tinker!

Any Fruit Crisp - this is Apple with the addition of Ginger Caramel
Any Fruit Crisp – this is Apple with the addition of Ginger Caramel

My first fruit crisp?  Apple crisp, with a recipe almost like this, made in 7th grade. It had an Oatmeal Streusel topping, though this one is a bit fancier. I learned it in 4-H and made over and over until the whole family was over it! Then I moved on to Chocolate Pudding! So here’s one to make, to teach and to pass on.

Note that this has an unusual baking temperature, which works very well. The Streusel topping, I think, is best made by hand. I often double or triple it and toss in the freezer, which is how I discovered how much better it turns out when sprinkled on frozen! Make the streusel first, spread on a plate or sheet pan and put it in the freezer as you prepare the fruit. Nuts can be added to the topping, if desired.

Any Fruit Crisp - this is Apple with the addition of Ginger Caramel
Any Fruit Crisp – this is Apple with the addition of Ginger Caramel

I have one more secret, too, which isn’t in the recipe, which I often use when I make an apple or a pear crisp. If I happen to have any of my home-made Butterscotch Sauce or any other caramel type of topping, I’ll sometimes drizzle the top of the crisp – 1/2 to 3/4 cup or so before adding the Streusel topping. It’s fantastic and makes a “sauce” that can be spooned over ice-cream. Today I used a Ginger Caramel Sauce.

When I use the Apple and Caramel combo, I am not kidding you, people go nuts! Try it and see – you’ll be lauded as a Queen (or King) and people will toss rose petals on your path and fan you with palm fronds. Well, maybe not, but they will think you’re a genius when they taste this! 🙂

Any Fruit Crisp - this is Apple with the addition of Ginger Caramel
Any Fruit Crisp – this is Apple with the addition of Ginger Caramel

Any Fruit Crisp

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 7 cups prepared fruit
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or apple or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter in small pieces, well chilled

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss fruit with lemon and zest, spread evenly in an eight inch square pan, pressing down lightly.

Mix brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, spices, and salt. Add butter and mix into coarse crumbs. May be done in the food processor, about 10 pulses, then five seconds. Sprinkle over the fruit.

Place in oven for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake until topping is brown and fruit is tender when tested with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.

Fruit for Any Fruit Crisp:

  • Apples: Two and a half pounds of baking apples, about six, peeled, cored and thinly sliced.
  • Apricots: Three pounds, 15 to 20, peeled, pitted and quartered.
  • Berries: Two pounds, rinsed and drained well. Toss with a tablespoon of sugar.
  • Nectarines or Peaches: Three pounds, about eight to ten. Peel, pit and cut into sixths.
  • Pears: Two and a half pounds, six to seven. Peel, core and thinly slice.
  • Plums: Three pounds, 15 to 20. Pit and quarter.
  • Frozen Fruit: May be used.
  • Combinations: Try combinations of fruit or of fruit and dried fruit, as desired.

From the kitchen of

 Put Your own Spin on It:

  •  Topping: Omit oatmeal, if desired. Add nuts, pecans or walnuts are lovely with the apple, almonds with the pears or berries.
  • Crisp: A bit of a flavorful extract or a spoonful of liquor is wonderful mixed with the fruit. Rum and apples go well, pears and Frangelico, and so on.
  • Add ins: Try a dessert sauce over the fruit before topping. A caramel or butterscotch is lovely over apples in apple crisp. A little almond paste goes very well wiyh pears – break a little up and toss with the fruit.

2 thoughts on “Any Fruit Crisp with Streusel Topping”

  1. This is excellent- a perfect antidote for having too many apples. A piece of advice- don’t let the kids loose in an apple orchard with a bunch of grocery bags. You’ll leave with 30lbs of apples and no dearth of grass stains.

    1. LOL! My crystal ball says a lot of apple crisp is in your future! The lady at “my” apple orchard says to throw extra apples in your cooler in the garage. Pull them out in a month or two.

      Not like the following summer when you’re going camping, because that kind of applesauce you don’t want to eat! Trust me on this.

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