Mixed Berry Crisp Cake

I found this recipe by chance. Normally when I get a new vintage cookbook, I flip through, page by page, armed with sticky notes. Usually the cookbooks end up with dozens of paper flags marking the pages of delicious-sounding, quirky or fun recipes. But sometimes I miss things. This recipe is one such a thing. And boy am I glad I found it.

Collin Murray loves a fruit crisp. I don’t know what it is, the oats, the fruit, the crispy topping; whatever it is, the man loves it. So when I saw the original recipe, it caught my eye because I wanted to make my man some tasty desserts.

Usually crisps are called such because of the baked topping. What differentiates this recipe is that it has fruit baked in-between to layers of crispy deliciousness. It’s like a fruit crisp sandwich…or a crisp cake…

For this recipe I used frozen berries. Though in my neck of the woods there are lovely strawberries making an appearance at the store, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are still painfully far away from being in season and darn it, I wanted a mixed berry crisp. Instead of using berries from far parts of the world that aren’t in their peak, frozen berries can be an excellent substitute. If you like, you could use fresh strawberries, rhubarb (though I would add a little more sugar) or a combination of the two — all of which would be make for a lovely crisp.

I have to tell you that I’m very happy I came back to this recipe. Not only did I find this crisp cake to be delightful but Collin Murray’s day was made — happy husband, happy life…that’s how that saying goes, right?

Mixed Berry Crisp Cake (adapted from The Colorado Cache Cookbook)

Serves 4-6

1 cup all purpose flour

 ¾ cup oats, not quick cooking

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

4 cups frozen mixed berries (or other fruit mix)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Pour in butter and mix until all the flour has been moistened and the mixture is clumpy.

In a large saucepan, on medium high heat, combine berries, cornstarch, sugar and water. Allow the berries to thaw and the mixture to thicken.

In a rectangular baking dish (6×10 to 9×13 inches), press about three quarters the crumb mixture evenly into the pan. Pour the berry mixture over the crust and sprinkle with the remaining crumbs, trying to cover the fruit if possible.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the fruit mixture is bubbly. Serve warm with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or all by itself. Enjoy.

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