Summer Berry Crisp

A favorite summer berry crisp - ripe berries cook into a thick, jammy, wine-spiked fruit sludge beneath a crispy, oat-flecked top.

Summer Berry Crisp

Heading into the holiday weekend, I thought I'd share this variation of my favorite summer berry crisp. I made it recently to finish a dinner celebrating my good friend Chanda's birthday. Blackberries, strawberries, and cherries cook into a thick, jammy, wine-spiked fruit sludge beneath a crispy, oat-flecked top. It's the good stuff, and silly simple. 
Summer Berry Crisp Recipe
If you're heading out to do some camping, I bet you could do a brilliant campfire version in a cast iron Dutch oven. There's a version of it in my last book, but I doubled-down on the topping for this one. No one ever complains about too much of the crumble top ;)...
Summer Berry Crisp Recipe
If you have an abundance of berries, this crisp is even better with a scoop of berry swirl ice cream.

More Summer Fruit Recipes

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Summer Berry Crisp

4.6 from 5 votes

You can use another type of red wine here, or another berry-compatible liquor - that said, the port, or another sweet dessert wine, is really nice.

  • 1 1/2 cups / 6 oz spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 4 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 cup / 3 oz rolled oats, uncooked
  • 1 cup / 5 oz natural cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 2/3 cup / 5 oz unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon all-natural cornstarch (or rice flour)
  • 1/3 cup / 1.5 oz natural cane sugar or muscovado sugar
  • 4 1/2 cup of berries / fruit - mix of ripe, pitted cherries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.
  • 1/4 cup port wine
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F / 190 C degrees with a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter an 8-inch / 20-cm square baking dish, or equivalent.
  2. To make the crumble, mix together the flour, poppy seeds, oats, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Use a fork to stir in the melted butter. Divide the mixture into three portions and use your hands to form three patties. Place the patties in the bowl and freeze for at least 10 minutes, or until you're ready to bake.
  3. Make the filling by whisking together the cornstarch and sugar in a large bowl. Add the fruit and toss until evenly coated. Wait 3 minutes, add the wine, and toss again. Transfer the filling to the prepared baking dish.
  4. Remove the topping from the freezer and crumble it over the filling, making sure you have both big and small pieces.
  5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the topping is deeply golden and the fruit juices are vigorously bubbling. Let cool a little before serving, 20 to 30 minutes.

Serves 8 to 10.

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
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Recipe Rating


This looks amazing! Do you think it would work to sub coconut oil for the butter?


    That should be fine! -h

    Heidi Swanson

Loved this! I used strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. I plan to make it again this week, but I will double the recipe and use a 9x11 inch dish. I like the amount of crumble on top. Good call in doubling that! Can't wait to have this again.


This was lovely! Cherries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and frozen raspberries. I used raw brown sugar, and a bit less (4.5 oz / 1.25 oz). The first round was with guests, topped with vanilla ice cream. I had some this morning with yogurt for breakfast :)


Made tons of crunchie bits! I tried the elderflower syrup, since that was new for me. Too overpowering at the amount I used; wld try again but halve that. Also needed a whole lot more cornstarch, but I may have added more fruit than recipe calls for. Overall super fruit loaded and crunchy!!

Melissa Morse

Made this wonderful crisp for my son's 30th birthday celebration last weekend! Luckily, I was able to buy farm-fresh strawberries and the deepest flavored cherries of the season along with plump blackberries and raspberries. What a hit! Thank you for sharing this recipe which I am looking forward to making again and again...with a parade of berries and fruits!


Aha! I recognize the wonderful dessert I had at a large July 4th buffet. It was made with wild blueberries, served in a hand-thrown dish and I will never forget it. Extraordinary flavor. (I assume blueberries were wild, as they were small, and flavorful).


Wonderful crisp; one of the best I ever ate! I love the syrup with port wine! Absolutely marvelous!


I added a bit of lemon and orange zest and juices of both the zing it added to the flavour was divine.Oh a teaspoon of vanilla extract and cinnamon to the crisp.....ummm and it was sooo good.


I made this for our fireworks party on July 3rd. Everyone loved it. Used a mixture of black cherries, blueberries, rhubarb, wild blackberries, red currants and strawberries. Will be making this one again for sure!


i love this! you're a baker after my own heart. for non-alcoholic jamminess, i frequently use balsamic vinegar. cherries, strawberries & balsamic play so well together. thanks for all you do!


Hi Heidi, congratulations for the publication of your new book. It looks amazing. I've been an avid reader of your site since many years now, and always look forward to your new posts. I'm currently living in Hanoi, Vietnam, and will soon go to HK for a quick trip. It would be great to read a bit about the city and its local delicacies. Thank you for your way of conceiving the art of cooking and eating. Best, Erminia

HS: Thanks Erminia! You'll love HK - it's a great city, and amazingly easy to get around via the Metro...It was a very quick trip for me, and I'm working on a little list of places I went. Hoping to finish that up soon.


This looks absolutely wonderful.

Mary Frances

Wow. I made this for dessert tonight and it was amazing. I used mostly cherries, mixed with strawberries and the last of the season's blueberries, and added some cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves to the topping. It was like a summer picnic in my mouth. This recipe will be in heavy rotation this summer with stone fruits, then transitioning into apple crisp for the fall. Yum!


It is baking right now.....I used all the bits of fruit I had! 1/2 C wild blackberries, one local peach left from last week's farmers market, local cherries and jersey blueberries (the best). Can't wait to try it.


looks awesome! Could you use frozen berries?

HS: Sure! I like to make it with fresh berries, but frozen will work as well.


Looks amazing, nothing beats a good crumble (as we call crisps here in Australia). I do a similar oat topping but also add chopped hazelnuts, so good!


I just want to swipe the sides of the pan with my finger....looks delish!


oh, and also, i just had bookmarked this from your book to make soon! but more topping=yes!


Love it, although will need to make the non-alcoholic version for my picky kiddos. Also, do you still have organic cherries at your farmers markets in SF? We no longer do down in Palo Alto.


This is the best crisp I've ever made. Love the addition of the wine. This will be a part of our summer menus. Thank you.


A delicious sounding summer dessert that I bet will be great for this weekend!

This looks delicious and perfect for the start of the summer. Will try this weekend ! Charlotte

The Fox + The Knife

One suggestion - I always find eldeflower liqueur to be a pleasant addition to any berry dessert. there's just something about it that teases the taste out of the fruit. Have you ever tried this?

HS: No, but it sounds brilliant!


Your berry crisp from the cookbook is my favorite, especially the crumble topping. So I definitely wouldn't complain about doubling down on it. I like the addition of port wine too.

Katie @ Whole Nourishment

Obviously your summer berry crisp is a hit, love the pics! This is definitely one of the go-to recipes when berries are in season. It's always a delight (and refreshing) to finish off dinner with a berry dessert.

Jennifer @ Delicious Everyday

Mmmm berry crisp! How delicious :D And it is always so nice with slightly tangy berries in the mix :) Thank you for the recipe :) x

Jules @ WolfItDown

Fantastic!! I love the messy pic style, exactly how a berry crisp should look like surrounded by people licking their lips :)

Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

This is perfect! I have a bunch of strawberries left over from the farmer's market, and I've been looking for something delicious to do with them :)

Sarah | Well and Full

Truly, the BEST crisp I have ever had!! xo


It was the best thing I ate... thank you dear Heidi


Love berry crisps (and the addition of wine)! Just as delicious as pie, but so much easier to make. I usually make extra topping and keep it in the fridge for when I have extra, about-to-go-bad berries from the farmer's market lying around.

Stephanie | mind your plants

Looks yummy! Can gooseberries be part of the berry mix? Failing that, or even if, do you have a recipe for Gooseberry Muffins? They are not delicious raw but yummy in muffins.. only recipes which I can find on Internet originated in the UK with different measurement system.


Hi Heidi, this looks so yummy! I was going to add rhubarb to it - would you cook it first? And I'm also doing the non-alcoholic version this time (for my kids)... Thanks for the inspiration!


I first made this on a birthday getaway at a cabin on the highest hill above Dillon Beach . With the port wine, no less. So do let me bear witness: The crust and crunch of the crisp topping is a delight. The fruited undergarments go from bright and berried to dark and sultry and dramatic. And the balance between the two--ah, it is the only crisp I can eat on its own. And somehow I haven't made it this year yet. So thanks for the reminder!


This looks delicious. Is there a non-alcoholic substitution you can suggest for the wine?

Hi Kat - you can certainly leave it out...or fresh press some berry juice in its place. Happy baking!


I love the addition of wine to this crisp. I'm also a fan of doubling the topping whenever I'm making a crisp, cobbler, or casserole. You're right; no one ever complains!

Meg @ Pinch of Nutmeg

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