August is all about berries here in the Northwest. Most neighborhood alleys are dripping with blackberries growing wild—we come home with our fingertips stained from snacking on our walks. Every year we head out to our not-so-secret spot to glean pint after pint. The cultivated varieties are ripe too, including our favorite, marionberries.
My quick go-to dessert with any seasonal fruit is always a crisp. I don't have a tremendous sweet tooth, but I love the simple fruit with a chewy oatmeal cookie-like topping. I base my crisp topping on the one in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup flour (use whole wheat, unbleached white or a mixture)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
optional: 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut and/or chopped nuts
Combine all the ingredients except the butter. Cut in the butter with your fingers or a pastry cutter (you could also use a food processor) until you have an even crumb.
For this crisp, I tossed 4 cups of berries with 1/2 cup of sugar and the juice of one lemon. I put the berries in a baking dish and topped with the crisp crumbles.
Bake at 400 degrees or until nicely browned.
The best part? Leftovers for breakfast.