Tom Douglas’s Peak-of-Summer Berry Crisp

Hi, everyone, my name is Megan, and I came to New York City from the Northwest to follow my dream of working in publishing, bringing my food cravings with me. Now I can follow a second passion — pursuing the infinite variety of incredible tastes that are such a part of this city. Since I hail from the beautiful Pacific Northwest, I knew that for my first Home Cook post, I wanted to cook a recipe from Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen cookbook, a James Beard Award winner. Seattle is a culinary melting pot and chef/restaurateur/author Tom Douglas exemplifies these diverse flavors better than anyone. There are so many wonderful recipes in this cookbook, from Japanese Bento Boxes to Dungeness Crab Cakes with Green Cocktail Sauce, but I decided to stick with something simple and classic that evokes Seattle summers: Peak-of-Summer Berry Crisp.

Cobblers and crisps were a regular treat in my house growing up, and to this day I get cravings for the combination of hot, tart, fruit and sweet, crunchy, oats accompanied with a cold scoop of vanilla ice cream. There is something so satisfying about dipping your spoon into the steaming hot tangy fruit all jumbled up with oats and brown sugar, the blobs of cold cream melting at the edges. Also, as summer is winding down, I wanted to take advantage of the abundance of fresh berries to make this perfect summertime treat. I have never attempted to make a crisp before (in fact my baking resume is very scant), but Tom’s recipe was user-friendly – clear and easy to follow. Instead of topping the crisp with vanilla ice cream, I decided to get fancy and make Sweetened Whipped Cream, which is another of Tom’s recipes. I was amazed at how easy it was to make whipped cream – who knew?

My crisp turned out perfectly, with the berries bubbling up over the golden topping, and the whipped cream so tasty that I have to admit that I ate many spoonfuls before my crisp came out of the oven. This very simple dessert is beautiful and so delightful. It is perfect for summer, but the good news is that you can make this all year, using whatever fruits are in season. Enjoy!

PEAK-OF-SUMMER-BERRY CRISP (Makes 5 to 6 servings)

2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2/3 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into dice.

2 cups fresh raspberries
2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over for stems
1/2 cup granulated sugar (if berries are very sweet, you may want to use less sugar)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. To make the crisp topping, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the diced butter to the dry ingredients and blend with a pastry blender or the tips of your fingers until crumbly. Set aside.

2. In another bowl, toss the berries with the sugar and flour, using a rubber spatula. Pour the berries into a 9-inch pie pan. Cover the berries with the crisp topping. Set the filled pie pan on a baking sheet to catch any juices, then place in the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

SWEETENED WHIPPED CREAM (Makes about 3 cups)
1 ½ cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Place the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl and whip with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Serve immediately.

Spoon generous portions of the warm crisp into wide shallow bowls and top with whipped cream or ice cream.

If you enjoy making crisps, make a large batch of crisp topping (double or triple the recipe) and keep it in an airtight container in the freezer

5 Responses to “Tom Douglas’s Peak-of-Summer Berry Crisp”
  1. Pamela says:

    Thank you Megan, I too am from the Northwest and with the first blueberries of the season I was jonesing for some of Tom Douglas’s Berry Crisp. Pamela

    • David says:

      Put Splenda in your coffee, it works great. It is setewer than sugar, I think so I use just a pinch. And putting a bit of powdered creamer in your coffee is not going to sabotage your diet, but you can always try the non-fat version.If you prefer liquid creamer there are lots of non-fat versions or try 1% milk

    • Carlos says:

      Start out with a nice flavored cofefe such as Hazelnut cream or Caramel Walnut something rich and wonderful smelling. Next you can always add Splenda, or another calorie free sugar substitute. If the good flavor and sweetness aren’t enough and you still want the creaminess try some of the Coffeemate brand creamers Mocha, Hazelnut, Irish cream and no calories!!

    • Your cranium must be protecting some very valuable brains.

    • Sezer says:

      hello! i like creme brulee very much :)and i made it brefoe but it wasnt very successful becoz it was not as creamy as those i ate in cafe or in paris. it was more like a that because i use milk instead of cream, or is there other reason?thank you :)(you can reply me in chinese haha 😀 )

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