Brown Butter Berry Crisp

By Laurie
April 4, 2013
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Author Notes: Fruit crisps. Warm tangy fruit with crunchy sweet topping - great fresh from the oven with a hunk of ice cream and even better cold for breakfast. Everyone likes a crisp and they're easy and versatile. I make them all the time.

I've found the best topping is the simplest - one cup of everything: flour, oatmeal, walnuts, brown sugar and butter, plus a pinch of salt. I wondered if substituting brown butter (beurre noisette - common in french cooking and super trendy here in the USA) for the regular kind would make a difference, so I browned some up, chilled it solid and...

Well, hello there...

Good. Really good. The butter is more intense with a subtle caramel flavor that adds depth to the crisp topping. A keeper.

Serves: 4

  • 6 cups frozen mixed berries
  • 1 cup oatmeal (not quick-cooking or steel cut)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted brown butter, chilled
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
  1. Brown the butter in a saucepan over medium high heat until brown bits appear and it smells incredible (4-5 minutes). Pour into small heatproof dish and chill until solid (1 hour). Preheat oven to 350º. Put walnuts on a sheet pan and bake for about 5 minutes or until color deepens and they're fragrant. Chop roughly and place in a bowl along with oatmeal, flour, brown sugar and salt. Stir. Add chilled butter in small ½ inch hunks and work into the dry ingredients with your fingers until a lumpy, rocky dough comes together. Put frozen berries in a 2 quart baking dish (shape doesn't matter - you want berries to be at least 2 deep). Sprinkle topping mixture over and bake for 40-45 minutes or until topping is brown and crunchy and the berries bubble up the sides. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

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