March 1, 2013

Brown Butter Berry Crisp

Brown Butter Triple Berry Crisp


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. 


Chilled Brown Butter
Browned and chilled butter

Berry Brown Butter Crisp

Serves 4-6

6 cups frozen mixed berries 
1 cup oatmeal (not quick cooking)
1 cup flour
1 cup toasted walnuts
1 cup light brown sugar
1 stick chilled brown butter
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

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 350ยบ. 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.

Brown Butter Berry Crisp


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