I have more peaches than I can use, so a great option is to assemble my make-ahead fruit crisp. It’s super easy to put together and makes for a ready to bake dessert at a moment’s notice.
The great part about this recipe is you can use it for just about any kind of fruit. For today, it’s all about a make-ahead peach crisp. So let’s get to it.
Make-Ahead Fruit Crisp
Ingredients: Filling for one crisp
- 5 ½ cups fresh fruit, if needed cut into small pieces or ½-inch wedges
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- Optional: A dash of spices of choice to match the fruit
Line an 8 ½-inch round or square disposable baking pan with a large piece of plastic wrap, enough to overlap the edges. Combine the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, salt, and spices in a medium bowl until will blended. Transfer the mixture to the prepared disposable pan. Tightly wrap the filling in the baking pan.
Ingredients: Topping for one crisp
- ⅓ cup cold butter cut into small pieces
- ½ cup packed light-brown sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Dash of nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts, walnuts, pecans or any unsalted nuts of choice
Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add the butter and cut it into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter, your hands or two knives until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is crumbly with some small pea-sized clumps.
Place the bag of prepared crisp topping on top of the wrapped filling. Place both in a gallon Ziploc freezer bag, label, date, and place the package in the freezer with baking instructions attached.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove the prepared fruit crisp package from the freezer. Lightly oil a 9 inch round or square baking pan. Unwrap the filling and place it in the prepared baking pan. Evenly distribute the crisp topping on top of the filling. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until center is bubbling. (If the top of the crisp is browning too quickly, place a piece of foil loosely over the crisp for a few minutes but remove the foil for the last 5 minutes to allow it to crisp up.) When the crisp is nicely browned and bubbly, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for 20 minutes or so before serving. To serve, add a bit of ice cream for an extra special treat.
Variation: Divide the filling mixture (in small disposable pie pans) and crisp topping into 4 to 6 portions and freeze into 4 to 6 packages for individual make-ahead servings. Bake each in a slightly larger dish for 30 to 35 minutes or until nicely browned and bubbly.
Notes: As I mentioned before, you can use just about any variety of fruit or a combination of leftover fruits such as mixed berries, apples & cranberries, peaches & blueberries; the combinations and opportunities are endless. Why do I use a larger pan to bake the crisp? It’s not entirely necessary; it gives the crisp a bit of room to spread and not bubble over so much. Another thing to consider is to prepare the filling as suggested and freeze it in a disposable pie pan without the crisp topping for a future pie, all you need is the crust. It’s a thought. If nuts aren’t your thing, leave them out and increase the oats by ¼ cup. Lastly, because it’s a freezable make-ahead recipe it can easily be doubled or tripled if desired.
What’s fun is to make a bunch of these and then pull one out when a quick dessert is needed. It makes for a much-needed delight in the fall or winter when fresh fruit is hard to find. Enjoy.
Time to eat…
P.S. Take a moment to check out and purchase some of the tools I used for this “Make-Ahead Fruit Crisp” below. 🙂