This Mixed Berry Crumble recipe is easy and bursting with fresh berry flavor! Use whatever mix of fresh or frozen berries you desire. A hint of cinnamon in the streusel topping adds a little warmth.
Summer begs for a crumble moment. The simplicity, the versatility, the bright flavors! Just mix up your favorite combination of summer berries top it with a generous amount of crumble topping (yes, you will recognize it from my Grandmother’s Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble) and bake it ‘til bubbly perfection.
Serve it hot or cold. Serve it with ice cream or vanilla bean anglaise. Or just eat it straight from the dish for breakfast. There is no judgement here and there is certainly no wrong way to eat a crumble!
Table of Contents
How make the best Mixed Berry Crumble:
- Taste your fruit for sweetness. You might want more or less sugar depending on the ripeness of the berries. I like to mix and then taste to get a real indication of how the flavors will meld.
- Lemon is King in Mixed Berry Crumble Land. This is the linchpin. Lemon has a magical quality that allows it to enhance all other flavors, especially berries.
- Cinnamon Streusel. Cinnamon is that little dash of the unexpected in this mixed berry crumble delight.
- More is more when it comes to crumble topping. Keep those topping pilferers at bay by giving every scoop of mixed berry crumble a generous amount of streusel! The beauty of this recipe is that it allows for some to sink in and absorb some of the fruit juices and some to stay on top and get nice and crispy.
- Don’t Undercook: I was a habitual under-baker in my formative years. I was so worried that I would over bake, that I never allowed the juices to melt and get thick and bubbly. Nothing bad happens from a little caramelization. Just ask every dessert’s BFF, caramel sauce.
Ingredients needed for Mixed Berry Crumble:
- Mixed Berries: I use a combination of fresh blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. The exact ratio isn't important, but keep the strawberries at a third or less of the total fruit. Otherwise the crumble will be too liquidy.
- Lemons: Lemon juice heightens the flavors of the berries and brightens the whole dish! It also tempers some of the sweetness.
- Sugar: I use plain granulated sugar and adjust the amount to the sweetness of the berries.
- Salt: The kosher salt is essential in this recipe. It play a supporting roll balancing the flavors and all that sugar! Kosher salt is lass salty than table salt and a teaspoon weighs less than other finer ground varieties.
- All-Purpose Flour: I use all-purpose flour but you could also use bread flour with minimal impact.
- Butter: I use unsalted butter for baking, because you want to control the amount of salt you are adding. Every brand is different and it makes adjusting the recipe a challenge.
- Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon is the star of this crumble. It warms the whole dish and pairs beautifully with the berries. Choose a high quality cinnamon such as saigon or ceylon.
3 Ways to Thicken Mixed Berry Crumble:
- Use fewer strawberries. I developed this recipe using New Jersey Tri-Star strawberries which are smaller with a lower moisture content. They tend to retain their shape in baking. When using other strawberries, particularly store-bought, there will be a higher moisture content and they will break down in the filling. Reduce the strawberries to 1 cup and increase the other berries.
- Pre-cook the filling. This feels like a shame because the beauty of a crumble is that it is supposed to be EASY! But you can absolutely combine all the filling ingredients in a pot and cook until thickened. This is still going to be on the looser side unless you also do #3.
- Add a thickener. My thickener of choice is tapioca because it is clear and tasteless. In this recipe you could add 1-2 Tablespoons tapioca flour or finely ground quick-cooking tapioca. Cornstarch is a close second. Use closer to the 2 Tablespoons. Just make sure that either one boils in the center or you will be able to taste and feel the starch on your tongue.
Bake ahead, cool and then freeze for one month. Alternately, refrigerate leftovers for up to seven days.
Mixed Berry Crumble
For the filling:
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
Make the crumble:
- In a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, ½ cup sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or on low speed with the paddle attachment until the mixture comes together and is crumbly and homogenous. There will be no visible pieces of butter left. It should be clumpy. (You can also do this in a food processor.)
Prepare the filling:
- Wash, hull and dry strawberries. Dice into bite-sized pieces.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, 1 cup sugar, and lemon juice. Mix to coat fruit evenly. Taste for sweetness and adjust with more lemon juice or sugar as needed.
- Spoon into a shallow 1 ½ quart casserole dish.
- Sprinkle crumble evenly over fruit mixture.
- Bake at 350° for about 50 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbly.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream. Or caramel. Or vanilla bean anglaise!