This strawberry crumble recipe is bursting with fresh fruit flavor and a delicious buttery streusel topping. Each bite is the perfect blend of crunchy oat topping and a sweet filling made with fresh strawberries. Enjoy this dessert topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate Summer treat.
Why You'll Love It
Seasonal- Fresh produce, especially fruit, always tastes the best when it's in season. Purchased in season, strawberries can even be lower in cost than usual due to the abundant harvest.
Comfort food- Warm fruit desserts are a staple comfort food. They offer a sweet treat that everyone can enjoy but with a refreshing lightness that doesn't feel overindulgent.
Easy to customize- You can enjoy this recipe whether or not you have fresh strawberries handy. Other berries, such as raspberries or blackberries, will also work. Additionally, if you need to cut back on the sugar or use a sugar alternative, that's an easy swap that won't affect the outcome of the recipe.
What is strawberry crumble?
Strawberry crumble is a dessert that features a fresh fruit filling that is topped with a crunchy streusel topping. The streusel topping is made from flour, sugar, butter, and oats which creates small chunks that turn golden brown and delicious when baked. It's often enjoyed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
How to choose the best-tasting strawberries
When choosing the fruit for this crumble, it's important to take the extra time to pick out the best-looking strawberries you can find. Locally sourced berries are usually the freshest tasting option, but even at the grocery store, you can still find excellent berries that will make your crumble shine.
These are all important things to look for when selecting the best strawberries:
Color: Choose strawberries that are bright red in color all the way around. Strawberries that have patchy coloring may not taste as flavorful, and that can negatively affect the overall dish.
Firmness: Firm, plump strawberries are ideal for a crumble, but if you have slightly older strawberries, they may still be fine to use as long as they aren't overly soft. Avoid fruit that's becoming mushy or has noticeable dark spots, as those will give you a flavor and texture that's less than ideal.
Even overall appearance: While extra-large strawberries can seem attractive, their size is not indicative of flavor. Medium-sized berries with shiny skin, even sizing, and hearty-looking stems are the best choice when choosing strawberries for fruit-based dishes.
How to make crumble hard?
Nobody wants a soggy crumble, and it's easier to achieve the classic crisp texture than you might think. The secret to making crumble hard is to not use too much butter. When you use too much butter, the topping gets soggy before it can get crunchy. This recipe has the ideal ratio of butter and flour for that perfectly crunchy topping.
How do you thicken fruit for a crumble?
To thicken fruit for a crumble, cornstarch is the best choice. As the fruit releases its juice during cooking, the cornstarch activates and creates a thick and delicious sauce. If you're using fresh strawberries, you will need less cornstarch, but you can easily adapt your recipe for frozen strawberries by using a little extra cornstarch to account for the increased moisture.
Fresh strawberries- Strawberries are the base for this tasty crumble. Summer is an excellent time to find the most flavorful strawberries, but you'll be able to find tasty strawberries that will make for a delicious crumble all year long.
Sugar- Sugar amps up the natural sweetness of the strawberries. Adding a little sugar also helps draw out their juices, sweetens the crumble, and helps it bake up into a beautiful golden brown color. I use granulated in the fruit filling and brown sugar in the crumble topping.
Cornstarch- Cornstarch acts as a binder that gives you a fruit filling that's thick and scoopable. Crumbles should have a sauce interior but should not be overly thick or runny. Cornstarch helps you achieve a perfectly balanced texture.
Salt- Salt balances the sweetness from the sugar and enhances all of the crumble's flavors.
Oats- Oats add a nutty flavor and help bind together the ingredients in the crumble. When toasted, oats also offer a delicious crunch that adds a wonderful texture to the dessert. You'll want to use old-fashioned oats and avoid instant or quick oats because they'll cook too quickly for this recipe.
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour- Whole wheat pastry flour is the base for the entire crumble. It has a light texture that works well in many baked goods. It has a more neutral flavor than regular whole wheat flour. Because of this, whole wheat pastry flour is an excellent choice for those who are new to baking with whole wheat.
Ground Cinnamon- Cinnamon adds a warm, nutty aroma to the crumble as well as a deeper flavor that enhances this otherwise bright and fresh dessert.
Vanilla Extract- Vanilla is a slightly sweet aromatic that helps create a balanced flavor in many baking recipes.
Butter- Butter adds a lot of rich and mouthwatering flavor to the topping. It also helps bind the flour to make the dish's distinct crumbly pieces.
How to make a Strawberry Crumble
Making a strawberry crumble is very simple. In fact, this dessert is perfect for bakers of all ages. To ensure success, the first step is to collect and measure all of your ingredients. This will create a smooth baking experience from start to finish. Then, you should preheat the oven to 375 F.
- In a large bowl, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together. Then, mix in the strawberries and vanilla extract.
- Scrape the strawberry mixture into a 9x9 or 10-inch pie pan.
- In a separate large bowl, mix together the oats, whole wheat flour, salt, cinnamon, and melted butter. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the strawberry filling in an even layer.
- Place the baking dish into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. The fruit mixture will be bubbly at the sides, and the topping will be golden brown when done.
- Allow 10-15 minutes of cooling before serving.
Why is my fruit crumble soggy?
There can be a number of reasons that a fruit crumble comes out soggy. Using a different-sized pan than indicated by the recipe is one common culprit. If you use a smaller pan but pile on the crumble, the heat won't be able to circulate properly, which could cause a soggy topping.
It can also appear soggy if the crumble is underbaked or isn't properly cooled before serving. When first out of the oven, the crumble will appear rather soft, but as it cools, the topping will crisp up into the delicious crunchy texture you expect.
How to store strawberry crumble
Store leftover strawberry crumble covered in the refrigerator for up to three days for the best taste. You should know that the crumble will have the crunchiest texture when it cools after baking, and the refrigerator will cause it to soften slightly. However, it will still taste delicious.
Be sure to preheat the oven- The crumble topping will start baking up as soon as it comes into contact with the heat, and like when cooking biscuits, a hot oven is important to getting a good rise quickly.
You can use fresh or frozen strawberries for this recipe- If you use frozen strawberries, just be sure to add an extra 2-3 teaspoons of cornstarch to account for the extra liquid from the frozen fruit.
Make a variety of crumb sizes in the topping- Some pieces should be a little smaller and fill in space, while some pieces can be left about the size of a dime. This makes for a great texture experience and an extra crunchy topping.
Add a splash of lemon juice for a hint of tartness in your filling. Lemon not only complements strawberry but adds a pop of acidity that brightens the sweet filling.
Strawberry Crumble Recipe
- ¾ cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup brown sugar
- dash salt
- 8 tablespoons melted butter
- 8 cups strawberries, tops removed and cut in half
- ½ cup granulated sugar If you have sweet berries, only use ¼ cup or 2 tablespoons.
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- dash salt
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix together all ingredients for the crumble and set aside.
- Combine the granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl. I like to blend the cornstarch into the sugar as this keeps it from clumping in the strawberries.
- Add the sugar mixture, water, and vanilla to the strawberries and gently stir with a rubber spatula until it is well blended.
- Pour into your pan, then top with the crumble mixture. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve hot, cooled, or cold. I promise it is delicious any way you decide to eat it! We love it topped with vanilla ice cream.