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Filled with juicy fruit and the herbal flavor of basil, this easy blackberry crisp is a classic summer dessert. The crisp oat topping comes together in minutes for a dessert you can whip up any time.
I was 27 the first time I visited a farmers market. Our family had just gone through some big changes, having bought a house and bringing our first child into the world.
The trip was prompted by reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and I was enchanted with the idea of living off the land. Except, it being winter in Texas, I was completely unfamiliar with any of the items on the table.
I stuck with it though, and in the summer I was rewarded with plump, stain-your-fingers blackberries and dewberries. Inspired by the book again, this blackberry crisp with basil has become a yearly summer treat.
You might not think basil works with blackberries, but it really does. It freshens up the dish, giving it more layers than just sweet-tart.
In fact, I like them together so much I’ve also made blackberry jam with basil!
The addition of almonds adds a subtle mellow flavor, and if you serve it with vanilla ice cream? It just might be the best summer dessert ever.
Ingredients for blackberry crisp
Blackberries – This recipe uses 24 ounces of blackberries, which is approximately 3 cups. Make sure to wash and pat the berries dry, and remove any stems or leaves.
Flour – Use all-purpose flour.
If you need this recipe to be gluten-free, use a gluten-free all-purpose blend like Pamela’s. Make sure your oats are marked as gluten free as well!
Rolled oats – Not to be confused with quick oats, rolled oats are also sometimes labeled as “old fashioned oats.”
Brown sugar – Light brown sugar is used in the crisp topping.
Sliced almonds – Sliced almonds are the very thin pieces. You can also use slivered almonds, which are thicker rectangular pieces. The almonds can be pulsed in a food processor to break up further, or used in larger pieces.
Honey – I like to use honey instead of granulated sugar for a deeper flavor with the fruit. Clover honey works best here because it isn’t overpowering.
Butter – Use unsalted butter to make the crisp topping. I recommend using cold butter rather than melted.
Basil – Use fresh basil leaves, which pair wonderfully with the blackberries. You can also leave the basil out if you prefer.
Salt – Just a pinch to lift up the flavors.
How to make this recipe
Preheat the oven to 400°F and lightly coat an 11×7 or 9×9 baking dish with butter or nonstick spray.
You can also use a cast iron pan or pie dish for this recipe.
Chop basil leaves by stacking them and rolling lengthwise, then slicing into ribbons. You can leave it as ribbons or chop again for smaller pieces.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the blackberries, honey, and basil. Pour into the prepared baking dish in an even layer.
In another bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, oats, almonds, and salt. Make sure to break up any larger chunks of brown sugar.
Cut the butter into pieces and add to the mixture. Use a pastry blender, fork, or your fingers to mix the butter in, creating a clumpy topping.
Once the dry ingredients and butter are evenly combined into small clumps, scatter it evenly on top of the fruit.
Place the crisp in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the topping is browned and crispy, and the blackberry juices are bubbly.
Let the crisp rest for at least 10 minutes before serving to thicken the juices.
Storage and Reheating
Fruit crisps can be stored at room temperature for 2 days. Make sure to cover with a lid or plastic wrap.
For longer storage, keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To reheat, microwave individual portions for 30 seconds, or reheat the entire pan in the oven. Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, until warmed through.
When it comes to freezing, crisps are best frozen in individual parts.
Prepare the crisp topping as directed and store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Using a freezer bag will allow you to freeze the topping in a flat layer.
When ready to bake, prepare the fruit. Break up the frozen crisp topping into pieces and scatter on the fruit, then bake as directed, adding more time as needed to brown the crisp.
Make this crisp with other fruits! Swap some or all of the blackberries with blueberries, raspberries, pitted cherries, sliced strawberries, or a combination to create your own mixed fruit crisp.
Instead of almonds, try with chopped walnuts, pecans, or pistachios.
Toss the blackberries with granulated sugar instead of honey.
Try adding fresh lemon zest in place of the fresh basil, or a bit of fresh mint leaves.
FAQ and Troubleshooting
Can I use frozen blackberries to make crisp?
Absolutely! Frozen fruit works great in crisps and is a great solution when fresh blackberries are not available.
Make sure to thaw and drain the fruit to remove excess liquid.
Why is my crisp runny?
Depending on the juiciness of your fruit and the depth of the dish you cooked your crisp in, sometimes it can be a little extra juicy.
If you prefer less juice, cook the crisp in a shallower dish such as a 10-inch cast iron pan or a 9×13 casserole.
Make sure to let your crisp cool before serving, which will help thicken the juices.
Another method is to toss the fruit mixture with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Make sure there are no clumps; sifting the cornstarch over the berries will help.
You can also cook the crisp for 10-15 minutes longer to help cook off the extra juices.
Can I make this crisp nut-free?
If you prefer to make blackberry crisp without nuts, simply replace the nuts with an equal amount of rolled oats.
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below! It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.
Blackberry Crisp with Basil
- 24 ounces blackberries, washed and patted dry
- 1/4 cup basil leaves, not packed
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- Preheat oven to 400°F and lightly butter am 11×7 or 9×9 baking dish.
- Chop basil leaves. In a large bowl, stir together with blackberries and honey. Pour into prepared baking dish in an even layer.
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, oats, almonds, and salt. Cut butter into chunks and use a pastry blender, knife, or your fingers to mix in the butter and form into clumpy pieces. (You can also use a food processor.)
- Scatter the topping evenly over the blackberries. If you have extra topping, freeze it for a later use.
- Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until topping is browned and crisp, and juices are bubbly.
- Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving to thicken juices.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…