This easy blueberry crisp recipe will satisfy your sweet tooth! The juicy berry filling is sprinkled with a crunchy oat topping and baked until hot and bubbly. It’s a delicious fruit-packed dessert friends and family are going to love!
What’s the best way to transform ripe berries into a sweet treat? Make a quick and easy blueberry crisp! It’s a simple dessert to prepare that’s sharable (if you’d like), and ready to devour in just an hour. It’s the perfect pantry raid to make the topping as all you need are rolled oats, flour, sugar, butter, and spices. That’s it!
Blueberries taste delicious on their own, but after baking, they are super juicy when bitten into. The juices combine with the other ingredients, creating a thickened jammy filling. Adding a layer of buttery, crunchy crumbles makes this dessert even more exciting. Top it with some silky whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and let it melt onto the warm fruit.
Ingredients to help the berry flavors pop!
Blueberries naturally have a subtle sweetness, but adding granulated sugar, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice makes the crisp taste more vibrant when baked. These ingredients enhance the natural sweetness of the fructose crystals, while adding a touch of acidity to bring more dimension to the filling.
The key to a thickened blueberry filling
Toss fresh blueberries with a thickening agent like flour to create a jammy, scoopable consistency. The blueberries pop open when they cook, and the juices will combine with the flour. As the dessert bakes, the starches in the flour will thicken the water released from the fruit. This creates a luscious consistency that easily coats a spoon.
The filling will have big pieces of fruit like a compote, suspended in a wonderful sweetened syrup. There is also natural pectin in the blueberries. When combined with the sugar and lemon juice, it helps the filling gel together more as it cools down a bit.
Add a crunchy topping
What makes this dessert highly addictive is the crumble topping, it’s similar to an oatmeal cookie. I use this for other fruit bakes like with my apple crisp recipe. The old fashioned rolled oats give the topping a slight chew and help to hold its shape better when mixed. I always use equal amounts of oats and flour to create the base. The finely milled particles of the flour help with binding and hardens when baked.
Brown sugar adds molasses notes, color, and gets extra crunchy in the oven. Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt takes the oat mixture from bland to fragrant and comforting. Once the dried ingredients mix together, incorporate the butter. Chilled pieces of butter hold the crumbles together and give the characteristic snap.
Baking the blueberry crisp
The blueberry filling is evenly spread into a baking dish. I use an 8×8-inch square pan, but also a pie dish or 6 ramekins (8 ounce-sized) for individual servings work well. Make sure to preheat the oven to 375ºF (191ºC). This ensures that the filling will get hot enough to soften the fruit, thicken the thin juices, and guarantees that the top is golden brown.
I like to wait at least 10 minutes before serving. This gives the sauce coating the hot berries a chance to thicken up more as it cools slightly.
How to make a blueberry crisp using frozen fruit
If desired, you can use frozen blueberries instead of fresh in this recipe. You don’t have to adjust how you prepare the filling, just how long it takes for baking. Because the fruit is solidified, it will take a little more time to melt, cook, and thicken the filling.
After 35 minutes of baking, check to see if the blueberries are bubbling along the sides and juice has thickened. If it’s not hot enough, continue to bake in 5-minute intervals. Make sure to loosely cover the crisp with foil if you notice it getting too dark on top during the extended baking period.
Extra topping ideas
Vary the crisp topping cluster sizes for more texture
Once you combine the oat mixture, break them into varying sizes. Some as small as a pea, while others kidney bean-sized pieces. After baking, this will yield a more interesting taste experience. Bigger pieces also keep their shape better and get less soggy. To make it easier to handle, chill the dough in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to firm up the fat.
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- 6 cups blueberries
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
- Set the oven rack to the center position. Preheat to 375ºF (191ºC).
- In a large bowl gently combine blueberries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, and salt.
- Lightly grease an 8-inch baking dish with baking spray, vegetable oil, or softened butter. Evenly spread blueberry filling into the baking dish.
- Mix together flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
- Cut cold butter into small ¼-inch pieces and add to the flour mixture. Use your fingers to press the butter into the dry ingredients to form different sized clusters, from pea to larger kidney bean shaped pieces. If needed, chill the topping for 10 minutes to firm up the butter to make it easier to form clusters.
- Evenly sprinkle the topping over the blueberries. Bake until golden brown and the berries are bubbling, about 35 to 40 minutes. If needed, loosely cover the top with foil if it's getting too brown.
- Wait 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm with desired toppings like whipped cream or ice cream.
- Storing and Reheating: Cool to room temperature and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat small portions in the microwave on high power until warm, 45 to 60 seconds.
- Freezing: The unbaked blueberry crisp can be covered and frozen for up to 1 month. Transfer to the refrigerator 1 day before baking. A baked crisp can be cooled down and then frozen for up to 1 month. Reheat at 350ºF (177ºC) until hot.
- Making in Advance: All of the components (filling and topping) can be assembled 3 days prior to baking. Refrigerate them separately or all in the baking pan.
- Sweetener Options: Honey or pure maple syrup can be substituted for granulated sugar in the filling.
- Make it Gluten-Free: Swap flour with 1:1 gluten-free baking flour or cassava flour for filling and topping. For the topping, you can use almond flour instead of all-purpose flour. For the filling, substitute 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for ¼ cup of flour.
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