Sweet berries topped with a buttery, nutty, brown sugar and oatmeal topping make for the absolute best strawberry crisp.
Strawberry season is almost here in the Midwest and I can practically smell it! I feel compelled to let you in on my secret to buying the sweetest, most flavorful strawberries.
Just smell them. Perfectly ripe berries will have a sweet strawberry scent. If they aren’t sweet, they won’t be fragrant.
We all know that berries are going to be at their best when they’re actually in season. There is so much produce at our fingertips in grocery stores nowadays, it’s easy to forget exactly when things are in their own season. Here in the Midwest, local strawberries typically start showing up in June.
However, when I’m craving fresh strawberries in January and February, I look for berries from Florida. The growing seasons are different there and Florida berries tend to be fantastic in later winter and early spring.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a flat of Florida strawberries a few weeks ago. You would have thought it was the middle of summer with all the berry goodness coming from my kitchen.
When you’re pulling a bubbling strawberry crisp from the oven, it’s easy to forget it’s gray and wintery yet. This crisp was a nice burst of sunshine in my kitchen.
Baking with fresh strawberries definitely brought sunshine to what was otherwise a cold and rainy day when I baked and photographed this crisp. The sliced berries were tossed with sugar, cornstarch, and fresh lemon juice before being left to rest while I assembled the topping.
When cooking with berries, fresh lemon juice is a must. The acidity brightens the berry flavor and balances the sweetness perfectly. Even if you are tempted to skip it, please don’t. That lemon juice is the true secret to the flavor of a great strawberry crisp.
Strawberry Crisp Recipe
Gather the following ingredients to make this recipe:
- fresh strawberries
- fresh lemon juice
- kosher salt
- old-fashioned oats
- all-purpose flour
- light brown sugar
- ground cinnamon
- chopped pecans or walnuts
Recipe for Strawberry Crisp
To make the crisp topping, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts in a small mixing bowl. Give them a stir with a fork.
Pour the melted butter into the dry ingredients and stir with the fork until everything is incorporated and the mixture forms large crumbs.
As you assemble the crisp it might seem like a lot of strawberries. Never fear it is not. The strawberries cook down beautifully, and the topping nestles in, creating a sweet, crunchy crust.
Sprinkle the topping over the berries in the baking pan. Bake until the crisp has browned and the fruit liquids are bubbling. Serve warm or at room temperature topped with vanilla ice cream.
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Strawberry Filling Ingredients
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries trimmed and quartered, about 6-7 cups
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice about ½ a lemon
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Crisp Topping Ingredients
- ¾ cup old-fashioned oats
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- ½ cup butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8 baking dish with butter. Place the strawberries in a large bowl and drizzle with lemon juice. Sprinkle with sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir well to coat and set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar, and pecans. Add the butter and stir with a fork until large crumbs form.
- Pour the berries into the greased baking dish and sprinkle the topping over them. Bake for 28-30 minutes, until the crisp topping, has browned and the fruit liquids are bubbling. Serve warm or at room temperature topped with vanilla ice cream.