This easy blueberry crisp recipe bakes up jammy & thick with tons of summery fruit, blanketed under a thick layer of buttery, crunchy streusel.
Blueberry season has arrived, and I am totally here for it!
Today I’m featuring this mouthwatering blueberry crisp recipe.
Aren’t blueberry desserts just the best?? I just love how sweet and summery… and the way the berries burst in your mouth, releasing all their juicy goodness!
I try to never let a summer go by without baking up at least one blueberry recipe. Blueberry muffins, blueberry cobbler, blueberry pie… I’ve perfected them all and eagerly shared these recipes with you here.
I hope you’ve loved them as much as I have!
Today we are focusing on blueberry crisp.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: fruit crisps are by far the easiest way to bake with seasonal fruit. They come together in a snap!
It’s just a matter of sweetening the fruit and allowing the juices to become thick and syrupy, then layering on a crunchy, buttery crumb topping. That’s all there is to it!
And they’re so satisfying! Savored warm from the oven, with a melty scoop of ice cream, or cold for breakfast the next morning, there’s just something so comforting and nostalgic about blueberry crumble.
Read on for all my best tips and tricks on how to make your blueberry crisp the absolute best it can possibly be!
Table of Contents
- What’s great about this blueberry crisp recipe
- Blueberry Crisp Ingredients
- Special equipment
- How to make blueberry crisp
- How to serve blueberry crisp
- Expert tips
- Frequently asked questions
- How to store
- A few more of my favorite baked fruit recipes
What’s great about this blueberry crisp recipe
- Tastes amazing: The balance of flavors and seasonings is so perfect! There’s a hint of lemon but not so much as to overwhelm the delicate taste of blueberry.
- Perfect texture: The filling thickens up in the most gorgeous way (thanks to a couple secret ingredients!) so it’s never runny. And the topping has the perfect tender crunch!
- Few ingredients: This recipe consists mostly just of blueberries. There are just a few other ingredients to sweeten and thicken the filling, plus that irresistible crumble topping!
- Easy to make: It only takes a few minutes of active time to make, the rest is just allowing everything to bubble and brown in the oven.
Blueberry Crisp Ingredients
You can make this recipe with just 9 simple ingredients.
Use fresh or frozen berries to make this recipe!
It’s a good idea to price them both out. Sometimes when they’re in season, you can get a great deal on fresh blueberries.
Other times, frozen are more economical.
I actually used a combination of both fresh and frozen fruit for the blueberry crisp you see pictured here.
You do not have to thaw the frozen berries before baking with them.
Sugar sweetens both the filling and the crumb topping, but it also thickens the filling and helps the crisp to get brown on top.
Regular white sugar is fine, or sub for another type of sweetener if you like. As long as it swaps 1:1 for granulated sugar it should work.
Cornstarch is a colorless, odorless, and flavorless starch that is used to thicken the filling.
Make sure you’re using cornstarch, which is white and powdery, and not cornmeal, which is yellow and gritty and tastes like corn chips.
Salt carries the flavors and intensifies them. The end result won’t taste salty, but it will make everything so much more flavorful!
I like kosher salt best because it doesn’t have any additives (table salt usually contains iodine and that can leave a bitter taste), so the flavor is pure. It’s also inexpensive and easy to find in a regular grocery store.
Apple cores & peels
The core, seeds, and peel of apples naturally contain pectin. Pectin is another thickener, often used in jam and jelly making.
You can leave these out if you like, but I like to use them as an extra added insurance policy. Blueberries are notorious for giving off a lot of juice, and blueberry filling can get really watery because of that. Not with this recipe though!
Freshly-squeezed lemon juice “seasons” the filling, lifting the flavor and bringing out the fruitiness of the blueberries.
I like to use unsalted butter because it lets me control the amount of salt in the dish. Different brands of butter can contain different amounts of salt, so this way you get a more consistent result.
For a vegan or dairy free blueberry crumble recipe, use a plant-based butter that can substitute for dairy butter 1:1.
Flour provides the structure for the crumble topping.
All-purpose flour is my go-to, but you can swap it out for any kind of whole-grain option if you like. You may need slightly less if you go that route.
A gluten-free flour blend that can sub 1:1 for regular flour should also work just fine, if you’d like to make a gluten-free blueberry crisp.
Oatmeal adds a pleasantly chewy texture to the topping.
I like to use old-fashioned oats because they are so hearty. But use whatever you’ve got! Or substitute chopped nuts such as almonds, pistachios, pecans, or walnuts.
You really don’t need anything beyond the most basic kitchen tools to make this recipe.
- A large pot: In which to cook the filling.
- Cheesecloth: To wrap the apple cores in.
- Silicone spatula: Helps you get every drop of filling out of the pot.
- Baking dish: 3-quart capacity, or 9×13-inches.
- Small pot: For melting the butter and mixing up the crumb topping.
- Fork: To stir the crumble mixture together.
How to make blueberry crisp
This is a really easy process of cooking the fruit to make the filling, preparing the streusel topping, and then baking. Let’s walk through the steps together.
Step 1: Cook half the fruit
Start by placing about half the berries in a large pot, along with some sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
Next comes that added insurance to thicken up the filling. Gather some apple peels and cores in the center of a square of cheesecloth. You may as well add some lemon peel and seeds too, since you’re going to need the juice later anyway. These will add even more thickening power.
Draw up the corners of the cheesecloth and tie them into a knot to create a sachet.
Toss the sachet into the pot along with the other ingredients.
Toss everything together so every morsel becomes coated in the sugar mixture.
Then pop the pot on the stove over medium-low heat and cook the filling, stirring every so often so it doesn’t burn on the bottom, until the juices have released and the mixture is syrupy.
Allow everything to cool before “seasoning” with lemon juice and moving on to the next step.
Step 2: Fold in the rest of the blueberries
Now you can add the remaining fruit to the filling.
Fold it in gently, so as not to bruise or mash the fresh berries.
I love how this method gives you a combination of soft, sweet, jammy berries along with fresh, plump, firm, and juicy fresh ones. It’s such a great textural experience!
Transfer the blueberry filling to a 9×13 baking dish.
Step 3: Make the crumb topping
You can read lots more about it here: Basic Streusel Recipe.
Start by melting the butter, then just toss in some flour, sugar, oats, salt, and lemon zest.
Use a fork to toss everything together until combined.
At first, it may seem a little doughy, but as the butter cools and re-solidifies it becomes more crumbly.
Step 4: Top the crisp and bake
Layer the crumb topping all over the top of the filling, and bake the whole thing until the topping is golden brown and the filling underneath is bubbly and thick.
How to serve blueberry crisp
I love the look a light dusting of powdered sugar gives to anything with crumb topping! It just highlights the craggly crust in such a beautiful way.
You don’t have to add it but it sure looks pretty.
I also love to scoop this blueberry crisp into individual serving dishes and top it with a scoop or two of ice cream. As it melts, it adds a rich sweetness to the dish that just can’t be beat.
You can serve this blueberry crumble warm, at room temperature, or cold. It just always works!
Use apple cores & seeds
The cores and peels of apples, and the peels and seeds of lemons contain natural pectin that helps to thicken the blueberry juice. These ingredients are optional, but I love the result!
Use a combination of cooked and raw fruit
You get the most incredible range of flavors and textures when you use a combination of sweet, jammy cooked berries plus firm, juicy, fresh berries!
Add a little citrus
Lemon really brightens up the flavors of both the sweet fruit filling and the buttery streusel. It brings out all the best in blueberry crisp, enhancing the flavor of the fruit.
Place a sheet pan under your baking dish
Just in case your filling bubbles over and out of the baking dish, this will save you from a big mess on the bottom of your oven!
Garnish with powdered sugar
A dusting of powdered sugar on top adds a hint of sweetness but it also visually enhances the craggy, crumbly texture of the streusel topping. It’s also optional, but it adds so much!
Frequently asked questions
Can you make blueberry crisp with frozen blueberries?
You can! Frozen fruit works beautifully in just about any kind of baked application. You don’t even have to thaw it first!
Many times, frozen blueberries are more economical than fresh. I highly recommend scoping out the unit price (that’s the price per ounce) on both, to see what’s the best bargain.
Can you make this ahead of time?
Absolutely! Prep this dish up to a few months ahead and freeze it according to the instructions above.
Or stash it in the fridge for a few days.
It will keep at room temperature for a day or so, so you could even make it in the morning and serve it after dinner.
Is blueberry crisp healthy?
Well, according to my standards it is, lol!
It’s made with mostly fruit, and blueberries are known for their powerful antioxidant qualities.
But everybody has their own gauge of what “healthy” means, so I’d suggest checking out the nutritional info in the recipe card below.
What’s the difference between blueberry crisp and blueberry cobbler?
Both blueberry crisp and blueberry cobbler start with a very similar filling on the bottom layer.
But blueberry crisp gets topped with a crunchy crumb topping, whereas blueberry cobbler gets dolloped with more of a cake batter. This batter bakes up light, spongy, and sweet.
You can grab the best blueberry cobbler recipe ever here: Blueberry Cobbler.
What’s the difference between blueberry crisp and blueberry crumble?
These are two phrases that mean the exact same thing!
In the US we generally call it a “crisp,” but in other parts of the world, it goes by “crumble.”
No matter what you call it, it’s seriously delish!
How to store
I find that tightly covering anything with crumb topping can make it turn soggy over time.
I love the crunchy texture of streusel and I hate for it to be lost!
So if you can bear it, I recommend storing leftover blueberry crisp in the fridge, uncovered. It will last there for a week or so.
If you must, lightly place a sheet of plastic wrap on top, but don’t smooth it down the sides of the pan too much. You want to allow some of the moisture to escape. Let the blueberry crisp breathe, lol!
Blueberry crisp can also be frozen, either baked or unbaked. It should last for several months in the freezer, and it can be thawed in the fridge before baking (according to the directions in the recipe card below), or reheated in the microwave or in a 170 degree F oven until warmed through.
If you go this route, I recommend preparing it in a foil pan, so that your nice baking dish isn’t tied up in the freezer for weeks or months on end.
A few more of my favorite baked fruit recipes
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For the blueberry filling
To make the blueberry filling
- Place half the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small pot and toss to combine.
- Tie the apple core & peel and lemon peel & seeds in a piece of cheesecloth, and add to the pot.
- Place the pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring, until the berries have released their juices and the mixture is syrupy.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, then allow to cool.
- When the blueberry filling has cooled, stir in the remaining uncooked blueberries.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Transfer the filling to a 9×13-inch baking dish, layer the crumb topping over the top, and bake until the filling is bubbling and the topping is lightly browned (approx. 30 minutes).
To make the crumb topping
- Melt the butter in a small pot, then add the flour, sugar, oats, zest, and salt.
- Stir together with a fork until crumbly.