Ah, dessert. We all love dessert and there is nothing that brings my family together quite like a pie, cake or a fruit crisp. While we are a group of meat eaters, vegetarians, health food and junk food lovers alike, we all believe in dessert. Here’s a recipe for a family-bonding fruit crisp, made with seasonal strawberries (the first to show up at the farmer’s market!) and whatever granola you have on hand. A friend taught me about using granola instead of rolled oats when making fruit crisp. Using granola, any kind, makes the whole thing more flavorful and a little toastier. I usually avoid dried fruit, though, because a turn in the oven can dry it out and turn raisins and such hard (which doesn’t feel good on the teeth). The best part of the fruit crisp is the edge, the place where the fruit caramelizes and turns a dark shade of red. We have been known to fight over it. The crisp is good with whipped cream (even the canned kind), any flavor of ice cream or even eaten directly from the pan, cold. And since it has granola and plenty of fresh fruit, this dessert would be equally awesome with a cup of coffee while reading the morning paper.
Strawberry Granola Crisp
2 quarts strawberries
½ cup sugar
½ stick unsalted butter
2 cups of your favorite granola (without fruit)
½ cup flour
½ cup sugar
Grated zest of ½ lemon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Ice cream or whipped cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pull the tops from the berries and slice them in half. Toss with ½ cup of sugar. Grease an 8×8 baking dish and spread the berries evenly across the bottom.
Cut the butter into chunks and microwave at 30-second intervals until it’s melted. Stir together with the granola, flour, sugar, lemon and salt. Spread on top of the berries, covering evenly.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and it’s golden brown on top.