The Perfect Dessert: Individual Berry Crisps

Is there anything better than warm, bubbling fruit topped with a crisp, buttery crumble? Finished with a dusting of confectioners' sugar and a scoop of ice cream, these are individual portions of heaven.

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This is hands down my favorite summer dessert. Simple to throw together and with such a big payoff. Juicy, thickened fruit with that perfectly crisp, buttery crumble…

That first bite when you plunge your spoon through ice cream, warm fruit and crumbs… heaven!!

The beauty of it all is that it could work for just about ANY fruit you happen to have on hand. Went blueberry picking? Perfect! Nectarines? Definitely. Cherries, oh man, yes. Plums? Fresh apricots? Sign me up! I could go on and on.

No matter what fruit you’re working with, you can also adjust the sweetness to your liking. If your fruits happen to be more or less ripe, you can increase or decrease the sugar and lemon juice to taste. Certain fruits need more sweetness, others more brightness. Here’s a space where you can play. Try a combination of brown sugar or white, a touch of honey, maple syrup, or anything else that you prefer.

The crumb topping also leaves room for creativity. Feel free to swap the oats for chopped nuts – walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts… even pumpkin seeds for early fall fruit varieties.

So let’s start with what we need.


Fruit: I love using fresh, ripe fruit for this recipe, but if the fruit you want most is out of season, there’s nothing wrong with frozen! I do recommend increasing the cornstarch and decreasing the sugar by 1 Tbs. each (for this recipe size). I find frozen fruits to be a bit sweeter and in need of a little more thickening power. I also like adding an extra splash or two of lemon juice to brighten things up. Note: the baking time when using frozen berries tends to be a bit shorter – check your crisps at the 30-35 min. mark and look for bubbling juices & that golden brown crust.

Cornstarch: If you aren’t a big fan of cornstarch, that’s ok! It’s always been thickener of choice for crisps and pies, but flour will do as well (increase by 1 Tbs.), along with tapioca or any other thickening agent you like best.

Sugar: In my crumb topping, I always love brown sugar for its flavor complexity, but for the filling, you may need to adjust the type based on the fruit you’re using. For example, I like brown sugar when I’m making a peach filling, but granulated for a berry or cherry filling. Adjust the amount to taste based on the sweetness of the fruit!

Lemon juice: Don’t skip the lemon juice. That added acidity and brightness wakes up all the flavors in your crisp and really makes it sing.

So let’s dive in. Here are some photos to help you as you bake, but scroll down to check out the full video for a closer look!

Preheat oven to 375 °F. Place 6, 1-cup ramekins on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Prepare filling: Toss berries with half the sugar along with the lemon juice. Set aside for 30-60 min. to release juices.

Prepare topping: Mix to combine flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt. Add butter and work with fingertips until evenly distributed. Add oats and stir to combine.

Drain excess liquid from berries and add remaining sugar and cornstarch; toss to coat. Distribute evenly between ramekins and top with crumb topping.

Bake for 35-40 min. until topping is golden brown and berry juices are bubbling to the surface. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 10 min., then dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm (with ice cream of course!).


Work that crumble: Whether you’re using a mixer or getting it done by hand, make sure to work that butter into your dry ingredients until uniform. A good crumble should hold together like sand for a sandcastle when grasped.

Pack in your fruit: Fruit will cook down a bit, meaning you want to start with a nice full scoop of fruit in your ramekins before placing the crumb topping on. If you start with a half full container, imagine how low it may look in the final presentation!

But don’t pack your crumbs: Let that fruit breathe! Packing your crumb topping will result in a heavy, dense crust on top of all that lovely fruit. You want a buttery, tender crumble… so just layer it on gently.

Make ahead: This is a great dessert to prep in advance. The crumb topping can be made and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to week (bring to room temp. before using). Your fruit can also be prepped and left to macerate in the fridge overnight. Then it all comes together quickly when you’re ready to bake!

Bake right before serving or reheat: There’s nothing better than a hot-out-of-the-oven fruit crisp. But they’re great reheated as well. Just pop them back in a 375°F oven and heat for 5-10 min. until warmed through.

Ready to make a batch? Check out the recipe & video below!

Check out the video below!

GOT A QUESTION? DM me on Instagram @katierosenhouse to get it answered or leave it in the comments!

What's your favorite summer fruit for crisps?

How do you get creative with your crumbles?

Come back Friday to see how I get creative with mine!

Happy Baking! - Katie