Thank goodness for summertime, when each and every one of us becomes—suddenly, miraculously—a good baker. You don’t need to be good at measuring, have the right fancy ingredients kicking around, or have a knack for baking: Summer produce does all the hard work for you.
There’s a crisp—or a crumble—for everyone. Maybe you’re a cherry crisp person, and you leave out the oats in favor of buttery, clumpy, cinnamon-y streusel-like topping. Maybe you like hot blueberries, and that’s it, because they rule. Or maybe peaches are the only thing you’d ever consider baking this time of year.This crisp recipe straddles the divide between breakfast and dessert: It’s got a little more than half a cup of brown sugar in the whole thing, it’s got lemon zest and juice for balance, and there’s a hint of oats, to add a veneer of healthfulness and some crunch.
If you’re missing the super-sweet factor, add vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, and you’re golden. I don’t overdo it on baking spices, so the house smells cinnamon… but not like someone’s gonna bust out the Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I like nectarines for their sturdy character; the blueberries have turned into little molten flavor bombs by the end of cooking, so there’s a nice textural contrast. And the blueberries create a luxe sauce you can spoon over vanilla ice cream.
I eat bowlfuls of it at night the first day I make it, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream melting away. I eat it for breakfast the following day, with yogurt. I eat it all summer, until I run out of fruit.
Don’t be alarmed by this ingredient list; it’s just 10 ingredients, and eight of them are likely in your pantry already. Change things up as you go: If that topping isn’t sweet enough for you, add brown sugar. At a rental without measuring cups? Wing it.
Crisps are, like summer itself, supremely forgiving.