There is little I love in life more than a simple fruit crisp at the end of a warm summer day. The juicier the fruit, the crumblier the streusel, the colder the vanilla ice cream, the better.
Fruit crisps are dessert summer saviors. When there’s about 107 things to do and a million places to be (hey. I thought summer was for relaxing?!) a good ol’ fruit crisp can be prepped in just minutes. Most of the work is done in the oven, so you can sit back, put your feet up, and relax (there it is!) and hit PAUSE while you take in how massively delicious your house smells and how little work you did to get it that way.
I made this strawberry vanilla crisp a couple weeks ago after I got back from Utah. Speaking of! I’ve got a new post up on my photography blog with pictures from the trip and, of course, the dogs!!
I made the crisp for dessert the night we had some neighbor friends over. Normally I always have leftover baked goods from photoshoots like cookies, half a cake, etc but on that night– I wanted to make something special to show my gratitude for being the best taste testers over the past 2 years. Something special and something suuuuuper low key. Because, ya know. LIFE.
I really had no intention of sharing this recipe on my blog. (Is that blasphemy? This will sound weird but baking for real life stuff and not just baking recipes to put on my blog is what keeps me sane. Keeps it fun. Keeps it interesting. Baking for the heck of it!!) Between the vanilla bean, sweet juicy strawberries, and brown sugar streusel– it’d be sinful to keep this fruit crisp recipe to myself. It’s screaming of summer and is the answer to what’s for dessert each summer night.
Will you just look at these vanilla infused strawberries!
If you’ve made fruit crisp before, you know the deal. It’s really just a big fat pile of fruit topped with streusel. And it’s all going down in 2 bowls: one for the strawberries and one for the streusel. The strawberry mixture is really just the fruit, flour to soak up some juices, sugar, and vanilla. To really amp up the vanilla flavor, use both vanilla extract and vanilla bean. Vanilla bean is on the pricier side but it’ll get you the most vanilla flavor. And aren’t the black specks so pretty and satisfying? Vanilla bean specks make your dessert fancy when in reality you baked in your pajamas, spilled flour all over the floor, stepped on a strawberry, and found an oat in your hair.
The streusel: oats, sugars, butter, a touch of cinnamon. The almonds you see were actually an afterthought– I didn’t add them the first time I made the crisp and the crisp certainly doesn’t need them. But they’re an easy way to introduce another flavor and some extra texture!
One thing real quick. Check out the millions of crunchy, buttery, warm, brown sugared, cinnamon toasted clusters. ♥
You can make this strawberry crisp in a pie dish, your favorite baking pan, oven-safe skillet, or even in ramekins as individual crisps. Instead of all strawberries, try subbing in some sliced rhubarb or even peaches, raspberries, or blueberries. No matter how you bake it, don’t skimp on the vanilla and don’t you dare forget the vanilla ice cream.
Strawberry Vanilla Crisp
- 5 cups (900g) chopped strawberries
- 1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean
- 2/3 cup (133g) light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup (85g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons (86g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 2/3 cup (65g) old-fashioned rolled oats (or quick oats)
- optional: 1/2 cup (55g) sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease a 9-inch baking dish (circle or square or any similar size pan). Set aside.
- Make the filling: Combine chopped strawberries with the flour, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and vanilla beans in a large bowl. Toss gently until combine. Spoon into prepared baking dish.
- Make the topping: Whisk the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt together. Make sure to get out all those brown sugar lumps. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, cut in the butter until the mixture resembled coarse pea-sized crumbs. (A fork works for this too!) Mix in the oats, then evenly sprinkle topping over strawberries. Top with almonds, if using.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the strawberry juices are bubbling around the edges. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack, and allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold. Cover leftovers and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Make ahead tip: Baked crisp freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm in a 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes or until heated through. I do not suggest preparing the crisp and storing it, unbaked, in the refrigerator. The topping will get soggy. You can, however, prepare the crisp through step 3 and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then continue with step 4.
- Frozen chopped strawberries work too! No need to thaw.
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