Oh my - hands down this is our favorite summer crisp! Filled with fresh summer berries, cherries and rhubarb, and topped with a perfect oatmeal & pecan topping - what's not to love?
Summer berries never last long enough, and I wanted to make sure and take advantage of the beautiful ripe berries in my fridge before it was too late. Fresh strawberries, raspberries, cherries, and some tender rhubarb - all the red fruits that we love so much!
The glory of this sweet and tart dessert is that you can absolutely make it your own! Don't like cherries? Leave 'em out! The important thing is to have six cups of fresh fruit - you can pretty much pick and choose your favorites! The fresh berries really juice up a lot when they bake, so I mix them with sugar, cornstarch and fresh lemon juice and let the mixture start to loosen up and "gel" together before it even goes into the oven.
I really wanted a deep red for this crisp, so I stayed away from fresh blueberries and sweet blackberries. Have you ever seen such a beautiful shade of red? And just imagine how sweet the fresh strawberries, sweet raspberries, tart rhubarb and juicy cherries taste together. it is such a wonderful flavor combination and SO GOOD!
The oatmeal and pecan crumble on top is perfect as well! If you love a chewy, brown-sugar oatmeal cookie, you will LOVE this topping! Chopped pecans or almonds are optional, but they do add a lot of extra crunch and flavor. One baking trick is to chill your crumb topping for 15 minutes or so after you make it. This will give the butter, brown sugar, oats and vanilla a chance to meld together, and it keeps your topping from becoming a single cookie on top of the crisp as it bakes!
And there's always someone who loves oatmeal cookies at my house (I'll protect the guilty one!) that is scooping up as much of the topping as they can, and leaving the sweet and tart fruit filling behind. It's a good thing that it is so good on top of a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!
And while we're on the topic of ice cream and fruit crisp, I ALWAYS spoon the fruit crisp on top of the ice cream, rather than the other way around. How do you like yours?
The hardest part is waiting for this to cool down to room temperature and thicken up slightly, but it just tastes so wonderful when it's warm from the oven! Hope you love this sweet summery berry treat as much as we do!