Fresh, in-season berries always make the best crumble, but we always keep a bag of fruit in the freezer to have the taste of summer any time of year.
Both options will taste great with this recipe from our book “Cook What You Have,” which draws on pantry staples to assemble easy, weeknight meals. It calls for frozen berries tossed and topped with a spiced crumble with oats and almonds, but an equal quantity of fresh mixed berries will be just as tasty, if not more so.
The mixture of oats, cardamom, ground coriander and brown sugar does double duty here. We add a small amount to the berries to sweeten and thicken the filling; into the remainder we add sliced almonds and softened butter to make a crumble topping that bakes up toasty and crisp, a delicious flavor and textural contrast to the soft, juicy berries.
Quick-cooking oats are best here; old-fashioned oats remain too firm and chewy. Serve warm or at room temperature, ideally with vanilla ice cream.
Mixed Berry Crumble with Spiced Oats and Almonds
Start to finish: 1 hour (20 minutes active)
Servings: 6 to 8
1 cup quick-cooking OR instant oats
½ cup packed light OR dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1-pound bag frozen mixed berries (about 4 cups), not thawed
1½ cups sliced almonds OR 1 cup slivered almonds
¼ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, room temperature
Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, sugar, cardamom and coriander, breaking up any lumps of sugar with your fingers.
Place the berries in a 9-inch pie plate. Add ¼ cup of the oat mixture and toss until well combined; break up any large clumps of frozen berries.
Into the remaining oat mixture, stir the almonds and salt. Add the butter and, using a silicone spatula, work it in until well combined. Using your hands, form the mixture into rough bits and clumps no larger than about the size of an olive and scatter them evenly over the berries.
Bake until the edges are bubbling and the crumble is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more recipes, go to Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street at 177milkstreet.com/ap