Summary: Since I was very young, I've adored a good crisp. My mom's specialty was apple crisp, but a BBQ joint, Wagon Wheel, in my south-Louisiana hometown made both blackberry and peach cobblers, and I have enormously fond memories of those too. You could run through Wagon Wheel's drive-thru and get a small styrofoam container of either cobbler for $1.99. It was awesome. And Mom's crisps, if they lasted, made for the finest of breakfasts. Perhaps unsurprisingly, based on this history, I take great pleasure in all manner of crisps, crumbles and cobblers today. They remind me of home; they're simple yet, when well done, extraordinarily good; they're flexible; and they're a terrific way to highlight fresh fruit. I love blackberries and peaches and enjoy adding herbal elements into sweet things; it provides terrific contrast to the sugar aspect as well as a complexity you might not otherwise have. This is a perfect crisp in my opinion. I hope you enjoy it too!
Yield: one 8x8" baking dish
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter, preferably unsalted
- 1 tablespoon (scant) minced fresh sage
- 1/2 cup (scant) + 1 tablespoon unrefined, granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup minus 2 tablespoons very lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup oats (not instant or quick; just regular rolled oats)
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 6 ounces fresh blackberries, washed and dried
- 4 peaches, peeled and sliced into 8 or 9 wedges each
- squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger (dried, ground)
Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit and put an 8x8" glass baking dish (or the like) at arm's reach. In a small, heavy-bottomed pot set over medium heat, melt and then brown your butter. When it's completely melted, is browning (smells nutty and most of the froth has gone away), add the minced sage, swirl the pan gently to combine the sage and butter, and set aside (off heat) for 5-10 minutes.
In the meantime, in a mixing bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients (1/2 c sugar through pastry flour), and when the brown butter has steeped, pour it over the dry ingredients you just combined: this will be your topping. Let it hang out while you prepare the filling.
Put the prepared blackberries and peaches into your 8x8" baking dish and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining tablespoon of sugar, the cinnamon and ground ginger, and then sprinkle that mixture over the fruit. Toss gently to combine everything.
Gently spread your sage-infused brown butter topping all over the fruit mixture. Slide the dish into your hot oven and cook 25-30 minutes. The filling should be bubbling and the topping will be golden-brown (more so than it was originally).
Carefully remove the crisp when done and serve warm, room temp or cold. If you're an a la mode kinda person, go for it. I myself like this just fine on its own!