Summer berry crumble is a delicious dessert. It's made from a layer of sweet summer fruits with a crunchy, buttery oat topping. It is especially enjoyable as a seasonal pudding, but you can make it from frozen summer fruits all year round. This summer berry crumble is also a healthy dessert, with the goodness of berries and oats, and a recipe which keeps sugar to a minimum.
A healthy summer berry crumble
- Berries are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat. They are particularly high in fibre, and low in natural sugars. And the rich vibrant colours of the berries are a great source of antioxidants which can help to protect your cells from damage. (Read more about the health benefits of berries here)
- Oats, which are a key ingredient in the crispy topping of this healthy summer berry crumble, are also a great source of fibre. They contain a particular type of soluble fibre called beta glucans which is very good for heart health. Oats also help to control your blood sugar, and will help to keep your energy levels stable. They are packed with vitamins and minerals, and also contain more protein than most grains.
- This healthy summer berry crumble recipe is low in added sugar. Although berries are lower in natural sugars than many fruits, they are still quite sweet to eat, and the recipe requires only a tiny bit of sugar. You can use either a natural sugar such as maple syrup, or table sugar. You could even omit the sugar, and add some nectarines or peaches to the fruit mix for extra natural sweetness. (See the full recipe for peach and raspberry crumble.)
- Summer berry crumble is also easy to make gluten free, dairy free and vegan.
A mix of summer berries. I've used frozen mixed berries, but you can also use a mix of fresh summer fruits. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and a few redcurrants or blackcurrants are delicious. Whilst not technically a berry, cherries would also go well. If using frozen, there's no need to defrost the fruit.
If you include more sweeter fruits such as ripe strawberries, you could use slightly less sugar. With sharper fruits such as blackcurrants, you may need slightly more.
Cornflour. Cornflour will help to thicken the juices which run out of the fruit as it cooks. If you don't have cornflour, you could use 2 tablespoons of plain flour instead. Or if you'd prefer, add 2 tablespoons of ground almonds to the base of the dish so that the juice doesn't make the crumble topping go soggy. Cornflour and ground almonds are both gluten free options.
A couple of tablespoons of sugar will sweeten the fruit and crumble topping. You could also use honey or maple syrup instead if you want to avoid refined sugar. I've also added a little cinnamon which is a natural sweetener, but it's not essential.
Oats. You'll need porridge or rolled oats to make summer berry crumble. Instant oats are too powdery. If you want the crumble to be gluten free, buy certified oats which have been processed separately to other grains.
Butter. If you prefer, you can use vegan butter for a vegan summer fruit crumble. You could also use this dairy free crumble topping recipe.
How to make summer fruits crumble
This easy summer berry crumble recipe is quick and simple to make.
If using fresh fruit, wash, remove the hulls and cut larger fruits such as strawberries into blackberry-sized pieces. There's no prep required if you're using frozen fruit. It'll defrost in the oven as the crumble cooks.
Tip the mixed berries into a bowl, and add the cornflour and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir to mix, then tip the mixture into your baking dish.
Use can either use a 20cm round baking dish, or make 4 individual summer berry crumbles in oven proof dishes.
Add the oats to the bowl of a food processor and add the butter, cinnamon and remaining tablespoon of sugar. Pulse briefly until the butter and oats are mixed. Don't over process otherwise you'll lose all the texture in the oats.
If you don't have a food processor or blender to make the oat crumble mix, soften the butter in a pan, and mix in the oats, sugar and cinnamon.
Tip the crumble mixture over the summer fruits.
Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. The cooked crumble should be golden brown.
If you like, you can use an oat and almond crumble topping to make this summer fruit crumble recipe. You could also add some chopped nuts for extra crunch.
It's worth doubling the recipe for the topping and freezing it. You can then make a frozen fruit crumble in minutes, whatever the season.
Serving and storage
Summer berry crumble is a popular family summer dessert, but it's also great for guests at the weekend. It's delicious served warm or cold and goes perfectly with homemade custard. Any leftovers will store well in the fridge for a couple of days.
You can also freeze summer berry crumble, either cooked or uncooked. You can also freeze the uncooked crumble topping. Store in a lidded container for up to 3 months.
Some fruits such as summer berries produce quite a lot of juice as they cook. Mixing the fruit with cornflour will ensure that it thickens as it cooks. It will become almost jammy in consistency.
In the UK, we tend to use the word crumble to refer to this kind of dessert. The term crisp is more commonly used in the US, where it refers specifically to a topping made with oats.
Yes, absolutely, frozen summer berries and other frozen fruits work well in a crumble. There's no need to defrost the fruit first. A frozen fruit crumble is very cost-effective, and it also cuts down on prep time:)
Other healthy crumble recipes
There's a healthy crumble recipe for every season! All these recipes are low in sugar and can easily be made gluten free.
Other summer berry recipes
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
You can also follow me on Pinterest and Facebook. Or subscribe to the newsletter to receive delicious healthy recipes straight to your inbox.
Summer Berry Crumble
- Food processor (can also mix by hand)
- 20cm round pie dish or use 4 individual oven proof dishes
- 400 g mixed summer fruits, fresh or frozen
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1 tablespoon sugar or honey or maple syrup
- 150 g porridge oats certified GF if required
- 50 g butter, well softened
- 1 tablespoon sugar (white or brown)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (150 fan)
- Add the frozen berries to a bowl, and add the cornflour and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Mix gently to coat the fruit, and tip into a shallow oven proof dish.
- In a food processor, briefly blitz the softened butter, sugar, cinnamon and oats to mix (go gently as you don't want the oats to turn into flour).
- Cover the fruit with the crumble topping, and bake for 30 minutes.
- If using fresh summer berries, wash and remove any stems. If any of the fruit is particularly large, cut into smaller pieces.
- Adjust the sweetness to suit. If you are using more tart fruits such as blackcurrants you might want to add a little more sugar.
- If you want to make the crumble topping by hand, soften the butter in a pan, then mix in the oats, sugar and cinnamon.
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only