Has anyone else here made a conscious uncoupling from your stove this summer? Will you make anything, including dessert, on the grill, because the thought of turning on the oven makes you cringe? Me too. Which is how I figured out this genius hack for making my favorite summer dessert on the grill: a fresh berry crisp.
Juicy seasonal fruit baked under a brown sugar and buttery crisp topping and paired with vanilla ice cream is about as heavenly as you can get. But warming up an oven and waiting forty minutes for it to cook is anything but.
So this year, I decided to test this impressive dessert on the grill for a small dinner party and I can honestly say I’ll be making this simple (and addictive) dish for the rest of the summer.
Check out my tips and recipe – although you can use any crisp recipe you like – and move it to the top of your summer bucket list.
What’s great about making a Berry Crisp on the grill:
1. You can prep it in the morning, or even a day before.
2. The recipe is forgiving and you only need your (or the kids’) own hands to mix.
3. No oven!
4. You could also cover with foil to adapt it into an impressive campfire dessert. (You know, in my next life when I actually learn to camp.)
5. Did I mention no oven?
If you have a favorite fruit crisp recipe, go ahead and use it. You can adjust the amounts slightly, if needed, for the size of your cast iron pan.
Otherwise follow along with my method for a perfect summer dessert on the grill.
The Perfect Grilled Berry Crisp Recipe
1 ¼ cups old-fashioned oats
¼ cup whole-wheat (or all-purpose) flour
⅓ cup packed brown sugar, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional
1 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
1 stick salted butter, chilled, cut up into pieces. Plus a little more for greasing the pan.
4-5 cups fruit: blueberries, raspberries, plus nectarines or peaches, cubed
1. Toss fruit into a buttered cast iron pan.
2. Sprinkle tablespoon of brown sugar and lemon juice over the fruit and gently toss.
3. In a large bowl, add the topping ingredients, mixing together using your fingers.
4. Sprinkle topping over fruit and keep chilled if you’re making ahead of time. If assembling the crisp just a few hours before cooking, don’t even bother putting in the fridge.
Tip: Do not put a very cold cast iron pan on a very hot grill. If chilled, take the crisp out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking so it tempers a bit.
5. Preheat grill until it reaches 400 degrees.
6. Turn down flames and place crisp on grill, cover and cook for 30 – 45 minutes, or until fruit is bubbling and the topping looks golden and slightly crisp. Timing will depend on grill size and heat levels. Note: If using a charcoal grill, put the pan over indirect heat.
Tip: Turn the burners directly under the pan to low or even off if your grill is very hot, and the adjacent burners to medium-low. Remember: You want the dessert to bake, as if in an oven, but you don’t want the bottom to cook too quickly or scorch while the topping is undercooked.
6. Let rest at least 15 minutes (or ideally longer if you can wait!) and then top with vanilla ice cream. Perfection!
Photos © Jane Sweeney