The Perfect Crumble

I've always been a huge fan of the crumble. With a base of juicy, sweet fruits complemented by an upper crust full of crunch, warmth, and oat-y heartiness, you can't go wrong. Unless you can't get it right. And for a long time, I could not.

My mom is the queen of crumbles. After a successful trip to the farmer's market or a fall day spent at the apple orchard, she can whip up a crumble that elevates her fruity finds to a new level of decadent deliciousness. Her crumbles are the perfect way to make use of those just a little bit too ripe peaches or the apples that are a bit more mealy than desired.

For many a year, I've tried to emulate the topping that she so perfectly concocts, but no combination of butter, sugar, and oats in my kitchen has ever tasted quite like that of hers. So I finally caved in and asked how she does it. Her recipe is super simple and incredibly versatile, but attaining that crucial balance of ingredients is what makes it so winningly delicious.

The secret? Equal parts butter and flour and two parts brown sugar and oatmeal. That's all. Here's my take on that perfect combination of sweet and substance with a base of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Substitute any fruit you've got on hand, just be sure to use a total of 3 to 4 cups.

The Perfect Berry Crumble


  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3-4 cups mixed berries, if frozen thawed and drained


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
2. Mix whole wheat flour, brown sugar, rolled oats, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in butter until it is well-incorporated throughout the topping mixture.
3. Pour berries into the bottom of serving dish (I used four ramekins but a 9 by 9 baking dish would work well), being sure to drain most of the excess juice.
4. Spread oat mixture over top.
5. Bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

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