Cherry Blackberry Crisp

A simple fruit crisp is the little black dress of summer desserts. It’s always appropriate, can be transformed with a simple swap of accessories, and causes men to stutter. Most recently, this all-purpose treat strut its stuff as a Cherry Blackberry Crisp, baked in honor of my mom and step dad’s first visit to Milwaukee.

Clean Eating Cherry Blackberry Crisp made with wholesome oats, pecans, and maple syrup

To welcome my mom and Larry’s to town, Ben and I invited them to our home for a special dinner, with this Cherry Blackberry Crisp as the meal finale. It was both meaningful and surreal to host my mom, who has served me dinner thousands of times, at my very own table in our very first home. I felt quite grown up. (For the curious, our other menu items included Ina’s Herb Roasted Salmon and Tomato Gratin, along with simply roasted asparagus, an indulgent Wisconsin cheese plate, and Aperol spritz, a classic Italian cocktail.)

A perfect summer Cherry Blackberry Crisp - warm, juicy fruit covered with a yummy oat pecan crumble. Refined sugar free and whole grain!

Lakefront Brewery Tour

Above: my mom, Larry, and I after our Lakefront Brewery tour. I’m smiling because I’m thinking about the leftover Cherry Blackberry Crisp I have waiting for me in the refrigerator at home.

Of all the desserts in my recipe archives, fruit crisps are the ones that I make most often at home. I’ve played around with dozens of different topping recipes, ranging from ones that taste like oatmeal cookies to those I double-layer on both the bottom of the top of the crisp, but the one I used for today’s Cherry Blackberry Crisp—the simplest of them all—is the one I return to over and over again. The ingredients are wholesome and natural, and the only difficult aspect of preparing it is preventing myself from stuffing the entire crisp topping mixture into my mouth before it’s baked.

Cherry Blackberry Crisp

This emperor of all crisp toppings is a mix of oats, almond meal, unsweetened coconut, light olive oil, maple syrup, and pecans. Depending upon the type of fruit I’m using, I might choose honey instead of maple syrup or swap walnuts for the pecans, but the basic formula remains unchanged, because it is sublime. The oats become lightly crisp and toasty, the pecans add chunky texture, and the coconut provides a subtle, almost imperceptible background note that makes any fruit crisp positively addictive. The wonderful idea to add almond meal (which is a fancy way of saying ground-up almonds) came from Lindsay. It adds a deep, nutty richness that is so utterly satisfying, I can no longer imagine a perfect fruit crisp without it.

This is the most addictive crisp topping and it's made of only natural ingredients like oats, pecans, and maple syrup! Try it with cherries, blackberries, or any fruit you love

I’ve baked this basic fruit crisp with roaring success using assorted combinations of blueberries, apples, peaches, pears, and even cranberries, and today’s cherry blackberry crisp combo is one of my favorites to date. The cherries are plump and demure, the blackberries tart and moody, and the overall effect of the two together strikes a zen-master balance of sassy and sweet.

Though the Cherry Blackberry Crisp is delightful on its own, as with all fruit crisps, it certainly isn’t hampered by a melting scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Healthy Cherry Blackberry Crisp made with wholesome oats, pecans, and maple syrup

Because this Cherry Blackberry Crisp is healthier than most, any leftovers can be peacefully enjoyed for breakfast with a dollop of yogurt. I like mine warmed up a little with plain, non-fat Greek yogurt top, and I imagine that vanilla would be wonderful too.

Parting words: Be confident and use the big spoon in the below photo. It’s the right thing to do.

How to make perfect fruit crisp with any summer fruit, plus a recipe for Cherry Blackberry Crisp

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Cherry Blackberry Crisp

A simple, perfect recipe for cherry blackberry crisp made with no refined sugar and whole grains. Feel free to adapt this recipe for all of your favorite fruit crisp combinations!


Yield: Serves 8

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Cherry Blackberry Filling



  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet cherries (fresh or frozen), pitted—do not thaw if frozen

  • 1 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen—do not thaw if frozen

  • 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour or all purpose flour

  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


For the Crisp Topping



  • 1 cup rolled oats

  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, almonds, or pecans (untoasted)

  • 1/2 cup almond meal*

  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut (unsweetened if possible)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup


Directions:


  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a deep 8x8-inch or similar baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

  2. Place the cherries and blackberries in a large mixing bowl, then sprinkle the flour over the top. Add the maple syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla, then fold gently to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, walnuts, almond meal, coconut, cinnamon, and salt. Drizzle the olive oil and maple syrup over the top, then use a spatula to combine until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Sprinkle the filling over the top.

  4. Bake the crisp until the filling hot and bubbly, about 45-55 minutes. Check the crisp at the 30-minute mark. If the topping is becoming too brown, tent with foil then continue baking until ready. Let rest 10 minutes, then serve warm, smothered with vanilla ice cream, homemade whipped cream, or Greek yogurt.


*To make your own almond meal, pulse whole, raw almonds in the food processor until they form fine crumbs. Do not over process, or you will have almond butter instead.


Crisp topping adapted from Pinch of Yum, as inspired by Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist.


// All images and text ©/Well Plated.

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

22 comments

  1. Perfect timing once again Erin! Cherry season has started in full swing here in Spain and this weekend we bought a 2kg box of massive dark purple cherries. They were so good we ran down to the supermarket to get another box. Then we went to have lunch with my parents and they gave us another 2kg box of cherries! I accumulated 6kg of cherries in one day! I generally eat them fresh because they are just so good but no way I can eat all these before they go bad so i will have to try this crisp. Will let you know how it turns out! 

  2. Ooooh fruit crisps are my favourite summer desserts! I love the sound of this. Cherries and blackberries are the best, and have such a great flavour. The topping for this sounds sooo tasty too, love the use of maple and cinnamon. Mmmm! What a perfect summer treat, thank you so much for sharing, I will have to try this!

  3. You’re the best daughter/daughter-in-law ever, making a meal like THAT for everyone. They must love you! As much as the crisp. I hope more.
    That topping is definitely where it’s at. Big, HUGE spoon needed!

  4. I’m also a huge lover of fruit crisps. You can invite me over for dinner any time;-) And I’ve never had the blackberry/cherry combo but it sounds perfect.

  5. Fruit crisps make my world go round! I looooove the idea of combining blackberries and cherries together! I would have never thought of this. Perfect festive dish for 4th of July celebrations, too! Can’t wait to give this one a shot.

  6. These simple kind of crisps are my favorite! I can’t wait to bring this one into my kitchen. P.S. Hey-o, you’re on Snapchat! :)

  7. Yay for fruit crisps! I love using blackberries but now I need to add some cherries next time!

  8. This is summer dessert at its finest. LOVE it!

  9. Love the healthier, gluten free take on this fresh summer dessert! Baked cherries are some of my favorite.

  10. Great job that looks healthy and delicious. Thanks for sharing :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  11. What a sweet post in every way! LOVE this! 

  12. I totally support the use of the big spoon ;) But I was sold at cherry. Being from Norther Michigan anything Cherry completes me. And as an added bonus crisp is one of my favorite desserts to. So you are really winning me over Erin!

  13. YES. Yes. YES! I love crisps. Especially berry crisps. I went on a cruise a few years back, they had crisps on the menu every night, I swear I should have come back the size of a house, cause I ate me a crisp every night for 2 weeks. LOL! Cant wait to try your recipe sweet lady. :)

  14. Cherry and blackberry.. must be really delicious!

  15. YUUUM! I love a delicious and fruity crisp. I’ve tried it with blackberries, but never with cherries! Love the addition, especially since I love cherries.
    Definitely one I need to try soon, just need to wait for cherries to come into season here in Australia. X

  16. Yummy!! I would love this!!

  17. What a cute visit from Mom & Larry! And this crisp would make me smile all day knowing it was waiting in the fridge for dessertsies :)

  18. What a fabulous meal you prepared, you can’t go wrong with Ina’s recipes! I love the cherry blackberry combination in these crisps, two of my favorite fruits! I imagine your mom and Larry will be returning soon to enjoy more delicious food!

  19. you really cannot go wrong with fruit crisp, but I am loving this cherry berry combo

  20. This crisp looks amazing! I love the mixture of fruits you used too- makes it so unique!

  21. great recipe, I loved it!  

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