Perhaps the easiest cooked fruit desserts to produce are crisps, which are little more than flour-tossed pieces of fruit cooked under a crumbly crown of cookie or cracker crumbs rubbed into nearly equal portions of butter, flour, and sugar. The most famous version of a crisp topping is streusel, which uses oats instead of cracker crumbs. This version can be made out of anything from animal crackers to ginger snaps to vanilla wafers. In summer, when fruits are plentiful, I usually keep a tub of the topping around just in case. Note: If you don't have custard cups or ramekins, heavy coffee mugs will do just fine. This recipe first appeared in Season 9 of Good Eats.
3/4cupchopped nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, or almonds
3/4cupcrushed crackers, gingersnaps, or cereal
4tablepoonsunsalted butter, cubed and chilled
For the Filling
12ouncesfrozen berries, such as blueberries or raspberries
4 (7- to 8-ounce) ramekins
ACTIVE TIME: 20minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1hour10minutes
Heat oven to 350ºF.
Combine the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, the nuts, and crackers in a large mixing bowl. Work the butter into the dry ingredients with your hands until the mixture is crumbly. This mixture can be refrigerated for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
Combine the frozen berries, 1/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 cup of the crisp topping in a medium mixing bowl. Divide the mixture evenly between four 7- to 8-ounce ramekins. Top each ramekin with 1/2 cup of the remaining crisp topping.
Place the ramekins on a half sheet pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Allow the crisps to cool for 15 minutes before serving.