What I’ve never loved about it is serving it- there seems to be no way around the blob that ends up in the bowl, and sometimes the crispy topping ends up underneath the berries (horrors!) rendering it soggy.
“Berry Mush” just doesn’t have the ring of “Berry Crisp.”
Or the leftovers. Ugh. Leftover berry crisp is NOT crisp and there’s no amount of reheating that’s going to bring it back to it’s initial glory.
Enter the individual ramekin (found on clearance -.74 each!- at Target a number of years ago). What a revelation the first time I put the berries and topping in these beauties.
Perfectly crisp, never too much juice covering all the good topping, and perfectly sized for each person resulting in NO leftovers.
And when placed on a small plate, they turned humble berry crisp into something, well…elegant.
The other wonderful thing about making them individually (as if I haven’t gone on and on about it already…) is that it is easy to make just the amount you need, even if that’s only two or three- or even just one.
Toss the berries (if using frozen, no need to defrost- just pile ‘em in) with a some flour, adding a bit of brown sugar if your berries are sour.
This is the trick for getting a wonderfully crunchy topping that doesn’t “melt” into the berries while baking: mix until clumps form and then add them to the top of the berries still in clumps. Don’t sprinkle little pieces on- they’ll just dissolve into the berry juice.
Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven for 25- 30 minutes (about 5 minutes longer if starting with frozen berries).
I often make these hours before I want to serve them and keep them in the refrigerator, placing them in the oven to cook while we are eating dinner. They come out bubbling and ready for that scoop of ice cream.
Individual Berry Crisps (Printable Recipe)
- 4 1-cup sized ramekins (adjust recipe for smaller or larger sizes)
- 1 to 1-1/2 lb. berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or a combination), frozen or fresh
- 1/3 c. brown sugar (+ more to mix with berries, if desired)
- 2/3 c. + 2 Tb. whole wheat pastry flour, divided
- 2/3 c. whole rolled oats
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 c. butter, chilled and cut into 8 tablespoons
- Heat oven to 375 degrees for baking immediately (if making for later, make sure oven is preheated before baking).
- Mix the berries (no need to thaw if frozen) with 2 Tb. flour and a bit of sugar, if desired. Divide evenly between the ramekins.
- Place remaining flour, oats, 1/3 c. brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter pieces in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture starts holding together.
- Break off “pieces” of the topping and evenly cover the berries in the ramekins, pressing down as needed, but keeping most of the topping in clumps (don’t break up and sprinkle little pieces).
- Place ramekins on a baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes (adding about 5 minutes if starting with frozen berries), until the edges are bubbling and the topping is browned.
Makes 4 servings