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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHAT YOU GET: Dark, juicy blackberries topped with a crisp that becomes sophisticated with the addition of hazelnuts and warm spices. Unusual — and unforgettable!
I absolutely love crisps — they’re a fast, easy, and always delicious dessert that gets to use the best of whatever fruit is in season. This year, I discovered some beautiful blackberries that I couldn’t resist giving the crisp treatment to, and I’m so glad I did because this unusual crisp turned out fantastic.
I’ve added blackberries to my Summer Berry Crisp in the past, but this recipe really makes those berries the star of the show. The only addition to the blackberries is one peeled and grated apple, which helps thicken the juicy berries so they can be a match for the delicious topping.
How To Pick The Best Store-Bought Blackberries
If you have the option, the best blackberries are picked straight from the field or out in the wild, in either early summer or late summer — late June and July, and August are the best blackberry months, depending on where you live. However, many home chefs don’t find they’re around a field of blackberries, and certainly not one they wouldn’t get in trouble for trespassing on.
Blackberries are hard to transport, so they can be a bit expensive — so feel free to use frozen in this recipe as well, as I outline in my tips below.
But, if you’re keen on using fresh, be sure to buy your blackberries just before you plan on using them. They should have a good, strong berry scent, look plump and firm, not like they have been squashed, and have a deep uniformed purplish-black to bluish-purple color.
Always check for mold before buying — but also be sure to check there aren’t any stains on that little piece of absorbing paper at the bottom of the case. Staining suggests that the berries are overripe. Stay away from berries that still have a stem, as they may have been picked when they were underripe. And don’t wash your berries until you are ready to use them; otherwise, you risk having them mold.
THANKFULLY, crisps are very forgiving. Even if you don’t find the perfect batch, if they are overripe or underripe, baking berries will bring out the best flavor of the fruits! This is a LOW-STRESS recipe!
What’s The Difference Between A Crisp And A Crumble?
While both are delicious and baked on top of the fruit, their ingredients make these streusels different. The main difference is the inclusion of oats in the topping. Crumbles do not have oats, while crisps do — and it’s where they get their name. The idea is that the oats will crisp up when you bake the dessert, giving you an excellent combination of different textures in each bite.
Tools You Need To Make Blackberry Crisp
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Homemade Blackberry Crisp
- Make this in the summer when blackberries are plump and sweet. Other times of the year, these berries can taste a bit seedy and sour.
- If it is off-season, it is better to make this with frozen berries that have been picked during peak season than to try to use fresh ones— no need to defrost the berries before tossing them with the other ingredients.
- The apple helps thicken the juicy berries so they can hold up well to the nutty topping.
- Toasted nuts are more flavorful – to toast nuts, put them on a baking sheet at 350° F (180°C) for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant.
- If you don’t have cardamom, you can use cinnamon instead.
Unforgettable Blackberry Crisp Recipe
- 7 cups (35 oz/992 g) fresh blackberries
- 1 apple (peeled and grated)
- ¼ cup (2 oz/57 g) granulated sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1¼ cups (3¾ oz/105 g) old-fashioned oats
- ¾ cup (3¾ oz/105 g) all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (4½ oz/128 g) dark brown sugar
- ½ cup (2½ oz/71 g) flaked almonds (toasted)
- ½ cup (2½ oz/71 g) hazelnuts (chopped, toasted)
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons (5 oz/142 g) butter (melted)
- Vanilla ice cream (for serving)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
To Make The Blackberry Filling
- In a large bowl, rinse the blackberries, then combine with the grated apple, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Transfer to a large, shallow baking dish.
To Make The Crisp Topping
- In the same large bowl, toss together the oats, flour, brown sugar, almonds, hazelnuts, cardamom, ginger and salt.
- Add the melted butter and mix and squeeze together to combine. Sprinkle this over the blackberries.
- Place the crumble on a baking sheet to catch any drippings and bake for about 45 minutes, until the topping is nicely browned and the juices are bubbling thickly.
- Let cool and settle for about 20 minutes before serving while still warm with scoops of vanilla ice cream.
- This is best eaten the day it is made. Any leftovers can be stored, loosely covered, at room temperature for up to one day.