I like to think of this Blueberry Crisp as a crustless blueberry pie. It has a jammy fruit filling and a delicious streusel topping that would be a great addition to any pie, but lacks a flaky pastry crust. Leaving out the crust allowed me to turn this dessert from a pie into a crisp, a dessert that requires minimal preparation and is still extremely satisfying to eat – even if it has to be served with a spoon instead of sliced.
This fruit crisp starts with lots of fresh blueberries. You can use frozen blueberries, but you may want to increase the amount of cornstarch in the filling by a small amount to make up for the fact that frozen berries typically give off more liquid than fresh. Both will taste delicious. I did not add any additional sugar or sweetener to the blueberry filling, as the cooking process really concentrates the flavor of the berries without the need to anything extra. That being said, if your berries aren’t at their peak (give them a taste and see if they are sweet or tart), you can add up to 1/3 cup of sugar to help highlight their natural flavor.
The streusel is a buttery mixture of flour, sugar, oatmeal and cinnamon, with a bit of salt and vanilla added for good measure. While the oatmeal prevents the streusel from becoming as “clumpy” as some other streusel mixtures (and we all know that clumps in streusel are a great thing!), it gives the mixture a subtly nutty flavor and works extremely well with the blueberry filing. To create as many clumps as possible, squeeze handfuls of the mixture in your fist before sprinkling them onto the blueberries.
I baked this in a 9-inch pie plate and think that it gives the dish a very homey look. You could also bake it in an 8- or 9-inch round cake pan, or an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish. You’ll need to double the recipe if you plan to serve a large crowd and want to move up to a 9×13-inch pan. The crisp is ready to eat almost as soon as it comes out of the oven, though I would recommend letting it cool for at least 15 minutes to avoid burning your tongue. The leftovers can be stored in the fridge and will be good for a couple of days.
Fresh Blueberry Crisp
1 1/2 lbs fresh or frozen blueberries
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
7 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F.
Place blueberries into a 9-inch pie plate and sprinkle with cornstarch.
In a medium bowl, make the topping. Whisk together flour, sugars and salt. Pour in butter and vanilla extract and stir with a fork until mixture resembles wet sand. Squeeze handfuls of the mixture in your fist to form larger crumbles.
Pour filling into chilled pie crust. Sprinkle streusel mixture evenly over the top of the berries.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling all around the edges of the dish. If the top browns too much, place a sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the streusel. Allow crisp to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.