Blackberry and Apple Crisp

Posted by on Jun 24, 2011 in Farm Blog, Farm Recipes | 28 comments

After the frenzy of spring planting we look forward to being able to relax occasionally with friends.  The perfect addition to any lazy summer afternoon is a dessert made with some of the season’s finest blackberries.

Fresh blackberries are summer's perfect fruit!

Bursting with sweet fruit, with subtle flavors of fresh lemon, and vanilla, this rustic dessert is easy to make, without falling short on flavor. It’s perfect to serve to a crowd after a summer barbecue, with a velvety and luscious vanilla ice cream. 

Yield: 12 Servings

For the Filling:

1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
3 lbs Apples (Gala or Cox’s preferred), peeled, cored, and cubed
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Lemon Zest
1 Whole Vanilla Bean*
1/2 Tsp Fresh Grated Nutmeg
18 oz. Fresh Blackberries
1/3 Cup Flour

For the Crisp Topping:

1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
1 Cup Old Fashioned Oatmeal (NOT instant)
1/2 lb Cold Unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Preheat oven to 350F

Lightly butter a 9 inch x 13 inch x 2 inch baking dish.

Prepare the Filling:

Peel, core and cut the apples into large chunks.  Hold the apple pieces in a bowl of cold water, with a little lemon juice to prevent browning, but drain before cooking.

Gala Apples

Melt the butter and sugar together in a large saucepan, or small stock pot.

Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds.  Once the butter and sugar have melted, drain and add the apples, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, and nutmeg.

Cut the apples into large chunks so they retain some texture after cooking

Cook the apples on low heat for 15 minutes with the lid on, then add the blackberries, and 1/3 cup of flour, and cook for an additional 5 minutes with the lid off, stirring occasionally.

Pour the apple and blackberry mixture into the prepared baking dish, and allow to cool slightly while preparing the topping.

Prepare the Crisp Topping:

Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.**  Mix on low speed for approximately 1 minute, until the mixture is in large crumbles.  Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, ensuring the fruit is covered completely.

Be sure to sprinkle the topping all the way to the edges of the pan

Place the dish on a sheet baking pan to catch any juice that bubbles over, and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

The filling will darken to a rich blackberry color as it bakes

The crisp top should be golden brown, and the juices from the fruit just starting to bubble along the edges.

The juices from the fruit should bubble around the edges of the golden crust

If your oven bakes unevenly, be sure to rotate the pan once half way through baking.

Serve warm, with your favorite vanilla ice cream, and enjoy!

Blackberry and Apple Crisp, with Vanilla Ice Cream


*Don’t discard your vanilla beans!  Even after they’ve been scraped, they still have a lot of flavor left.  After the beans are scraped, you can make your own vanilla sugar by placing the split beans into 2 cups of granulated sugar.  Place the sugar into an airtight jar, and let it sit for 2 weeks before using.  It’s perfect for using in Bread Pudding with Brandied Figs

** If not using an electric mixer, rub the butter and flour together in a large bowl using only your fingertips, so as not to melt the butter, until the mixture forms very coarse crumbles.  Then stir in the sugar, salt, and oatmeal.


  1. I rarely eat sweets, but oh, you’re making me hungry for some! This looks delicious!
    Holley´s last post…Pretty in Pink

    • Rarely eat sweets? I wish I had that problem, I love to bake too much! If I bake it…I feel compelled to eat it, at least some of it! 😛

  2. looks delicious
    Greggo´s last post…Wordless/Wildflower Wednesday-Pollinators Week

    • It was…past tense of course 😉

  3. Oooh, don’t think I’ve ever had blackberries in a crisp. But I love blackberry cobbler and apple crisp, so why not combine the two? Our blackberries just started turning here, and I can see one of these in my near future. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    villager´s last post…Facer News

    • Never had blackberries in a crisp? I think you need to remedy that 😛

  4. Your last photo could be in a cookbook! Thanks for the delicious recipe!
    debsgarden´s last post…Pavonia Hastata, a Dark-Eyed Beauty

    • Thanks Deb, I actually rushed that photo…I didn’t want my ice cream to melt!

  5. I love fruit crisps, and I have wild blackberries growing everywhere (including where I do not want them :-~) — but I somehow never thought of making blackberry crisp. Since blackberry season overlaps with apple picking time, this is a perfect combination. Thanks for the idea and the recipe!
    Jean´s last post…The Garden at Pineland Farms

    • When I was growing up in England there were so many wild bramble vines near the house that blackberry picking was just part of summer. Nature’s own bounty. We’d put them in all sorts of things just to find ways to use them up before they spoiled!

  6. Once my new blackberry bush bears fruit this will be the recipe I will try…yummyyy
    Donna´s last post…New Natives

    • If you try it, I hope you enjoy it, and will let us know how it turned out.

  7. Looks delish!! I have a stand of Chester Thornless blackberries that are usually devoured by the birds before I ever get to them. I usually throw any the birds have missed in with my peach cobblers but your recipe looks so tasty, I’m going to give it a try!! Thanks!!
    Casa Mariposa´s last post…The Final Lesson

    • I tried a thornless blackberry very many years ago, but never found it to yield as many fruits as the prickly rambling vines. Here we have to fend off the deer and rabbits to partake in any of the fruit, but once in a while they leave us a few 😉

  8. My mouth watered just reading this menu! I may try the crust with a rhubarb filling as I’m short on berries but the rubarb is flush!

    • Mmmm…rhubarb. I remember making lots of rhubarb crumbles (with the obligatory custard of course). Just planted two rhubarb varieties this year, and am looking forward to an overabundance of rhubarb in the coming years.

  9. Clare,
    Sounds like a yummy recipe. We make crisps all the time, best results with fresh lemon zest for sure. We have lots of apples on the apple tree, but the squirrels ate all but one. Blackberries will be in ripe in a week, the ones the birds planted along the pond.
    Randy´s last post…Happy Bees, 5 weeks

    • Dastardly squirrels, and I hate that they’ll eat the fruit from the trees before we’d think it ripe enough to pick it. I’m sure we’ll have to fend them off in the orchard at some point. At the moment they seem to be running off with our tomatillos!

  10. Yummy! I have never tried apples and blackberries together. I will have to try it. I have a wild blackberry bush that I can pick…they are almost ripe.

    • A few people have mentioned that the blackberry-apple combination seems unique. It’s funny, because blackberry-apple pies were a mainstay of our summer desserts in the kitchen when I grew up. As I mentioned to Jean, we had many blackberry plants growing wild near where I grew up, but there was also an old abandoned apple orchard near the local library. To keep us out of trouble in the summer the parents in our neighborhood would send all the kids to the orchard to pick the apples. Between the two we’d end up harvesting a lot of fruit (22lbs of blackberries one summer was my record). Blackberries and apples just seemed like a natural combination then!

  11. OMG, what a scrumptious-looking recipe! We don’t have blackberries, but our ‘thornless’ (and no, it’s not exactly thornless) boysenberry has produced an abundant crop this year, so this would be a fantastic way to make good use of them. Thanks for sharing, Clare!
    Camissonia´s last post…What’s up with the May grays & June gloom? Who cares, cuz it’s all about that ginormous gopher snake…

    • Oh yes, I think boysenberries, or even our local olallieberries, would suit this recipe just fine!

  12. Looks so delicious! I’d love to post this on, Clare. With your permission of course. We lived by blackberries for 7 years, now I have to buy them at Costco. Three’s nothing like fresh. I never would have thought to add apples to the mix. Yum!
    Carolyn♥´s last post…COLOR is Dancing in My Gardens…

    • You’re most welcome to re-post the recipe Carolyn, let me know if you need me to send photos.

  13. This is one of our favorite summer desserts and I’ll have to try you recipe…sounds delish! My other dessert that friends request, is a poppyseed cake with blackberries tossed in powdered sugar spooned on top. I’m also glad to be done with spring planting…after a while it’s just too late, and the priority is watering. Thanks for this idea!

    • Oh, that poppy seed cake sounds lovely. Perhaps you’ll post that recipe?

  14. I love blackberries! Oh yum, Clare 🙂

  15. Yum, that looks gorgeous. I think we call “crisp” “crumble” over here, but it seems to be pretty much the same. I will have to wait a month for the blackberries to ripen here, but will certainly be hoping to pick some to eat in crumbele/crips, pies, and just as a couli with icecream. Delicious, nutritious and free – hard to beat!
    Janet/Plantaliscious´s last post…Of blight, help, and new love