homestyle apple plum crisp

Apple crisp (or crumble, whatever you want to call it) is one of those good ‘ol classic desserts that always hits the spot. I love it come fall and winter, served warm with spicy notes of cinnamon and streusel topping. It’s super tasty alone, but even better topped with some vanilla bean gelato! Some apples, like Honeycrisp, Pink Lady & Fuji, are better for eating thanks to their crisp, sweet bite. Others, like Macintosh & Braeburn, are better for cooking, and get nicely stewed in a crisp. I like using a variety of apples for layers of flavor and texture that can’t be beat! This time I also decided to throw in some gorgeous, seasonal plums that I had on hand. Perfect combo! Don’t forget about crisps and crumbles during spring and summer- by switching up the fruit, you can enjoy a delicious bowl of goodness year-round!

Homestyle Apple Plum Crisp:

Fruit Filling:

  • 2 pounds apples (I like any combo of Macintosh, Granny Smith, Cortland, Braeburn & Fuji)

  • 1 pound plums

  • 1 lemon, zested & juiced

  • 1/3 cup cane sugar

  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Crumble Topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats

  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

  • vanilla bean ice cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 F, and butter a large baking dish (9x13 or 2 qt oval). Peel, core & cut apples into 1/4-inch slices, and place into a large bowl. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cornstarch, and mix to combine. Pour apples into baking dish.

For the topping, add the flour, oats, pecans, cinnamon, salt, and sugars in a large bowl and stir well with a wooden spoon. Work the butter into the mixture with your fingertips until evenly distributed (you may also use a stand mixer if you prefer). Spread the streusel topping mixture evenly over the apples. Bake the crisp in the dish on a baking sheet on the center oven rack until the topping is crunchy and the apples are bubbling, about 55-60 minutes. Best served warm, topped with vanilla bean ice cream.

*Adapted from Sit & Stay Awhile Apple Crisp by Joy the Baker and Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp by Ina Garten.

individual blackberry, basil & ginger crumbles


Crumbles are a great crowd-pleasing dessert. They are easy to throw together, likely with ingredients you already have on hand! I like to mix up the fruit fillings based on what is fresh and in season, so think berries in the early summer, stone fruit in late summer, and apple or pears in the fall. The crumble topping can be a mix of flour, oats, nuts, and some sort of fat. You can experiment with different herbs and spices to change up the flavor profile as well. It's a forgiving recipe, unlike most baked goods which hold you to a strict science, so feel free to have fun with it! Don't forget to top each bowl with a large scoop of ice cream!

Blackberry, Basil & Ginger Crumbles:


  • 6 cups blackberries

  • ⅓ cup cane sugar

  • 3 tbsp cornstarch

  • 3 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

  • 1 tsp lemon zest, grated

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced


  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup rolled oats

  • ⅓ cup pecans, chopped

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar

  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

  • ¾ tsp kosher salt

  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, diced

  • vanilla bean gelato, for serving


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place six creme brulee dishes on a sheet pan. In a large bowl, toss together the blackberries, cane sugar, cornstarch, 2 tbsp basil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and ginger. Divide the mixture evenly among the dishes.

Combine the flour, oats, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and vanilla in a bowl until mixed thoroughly. Add the butter and mix together with your hands until pea-sized crumbles are formed. Distribute the mixture evenly over the six dishes. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the crumble has browned. Serve warm with a small scoop of vanilla bean gelato, and top with remaining basil.

*Can be made vegan by using coconut oil instead of butter, and subbing vegan ice cream.

*Adapted from Tri-Berry Crumble from Make It Ahead by Ina Garten.

Photos by Elizabeth Griffin