Sweet with a touch of spice, a perfect way to celebrate strawberry season
We love us some summer berries! Especially in baked goodies.
Like this Strawberry Crumble with Chili Crisp. We’ve taken a traditional recipe, then added an iconic Asian condiment for pizazz.
Because who doesn’t like pizazz?
Recipe: Strawberry Crumble with Chili Crisp
A crumble (often called a crisp) is similar to cobbler (like this great Peach Cobbler). But while cobbler is topped with biscuit dough, crumble is covered in streusel — which is a mixture of butter, flour, and sugar (sometimes with other ingredients added). Uncooked oats are a common addition, but we’re using pecans instead (see Notes).
For this recipe, we’ve added chili crisp, a spicy Asian condiment with a bit of crunch to it (which explains the “crisp” part of the name). It’s hot, but not incendiary. Our recipe calls for using just a bit, so you’ll barely notice the heat. But add more if you wish (see Notes). BTW we discuss chili crisp in more detail in our post on Roast Grapes and Chili Crisp Dip.
Preparation time for this dish is about 20 minutes. Baking adds another 35 minutes or so.
This recipe serves 4.
For the strawberry base:
- 1 tablespoon butter (for buttering the baking dish or dishes)
- 16 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
- ¾ cup brown sugar (packed)
- 2 teaspoons chili crisp (or more to taste; see Notes)
For the streusel topping and to finish:
- ¾ cup brown sugar (packed)
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces (see Notes)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ~1 cup pecans, chopped
- ice cream, whipped cream, or sour cream for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Butter a pie plate or four 6-ounce ramekins (make sure they’re oven proof).
- Place the strawberries in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add ¾ cup brown sugar (packed) and the chili crisp, then toss to combine the ingredients. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine ¾ cup brown sugar (packed) with the butter pieces, flour, and chopped pecans. Toss to combine all the ingredients and make a coarse streusel.
- Place the strawberry mixture in the buttered baking dish(es). Sprinkle the streusel over the mixture and smooth the top.
- Place the baking dish(es) in the oven and bake until the strawberries are soft and their juices are bubbling — about 35 minutes.
- Remove the crumble from the oven and let it stand for at least 15 minutes before serving (this helps it firm up). Garnish, or not, with ice cream, whipped cream, sour cream — whatever you choose.
- We like to bake this crumble in individual ramekins. But a pie plate would work fine too.
- If using ramekins, we generally arrange them on a baking sheet before placing them in the oven (a sheet pan works well for this purpose).
- This dish is not overly sweet. If you want to sweeten it up, just increase the amount of sugar.
- How much chili crisp to use? Your call. Two teaspoons will give you an understated flavor with just a touch of heat. If you prefer more spiciness, you could increase the amount to 3 or 4 teaspoons.
- There are several brands of chili crisp on the market. We prefer the Lao Gan Ma brand, but there are others which are also excellent.
- We generally cut the stick of butter into quarters lengthwise, then cut the quarters into smaller pieces.
- A traditional streusel topping contains nothing more than butter, flour, and sugar. It’s tasty, but generally melts into the strawberries as they soften during baking.
- So crumble recipes often add oats to the streusel in a bid for texture. Unfortunately, oats are flavor-challenged — not to mention tough. So we don’t recommend them.
- Chopped nuts make a much better streusel extender, in our opinion. They’re tasty, they’re attractive, and they don’t dissolve in the oven.
- Pecans are great in this recipe, but walnuts would work too.
- You can serve this crumble without a topping, but we often like to add whipped cream, and maybe extra strawberries. Or ice cream. Or sour cream. Or a sprig of mint. You get the idea.
“Wow, can’t get enough of chili crisp!” I said. “We’re talking ultimate sugar and spice here.”
“So it’s your just dessert?” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs.
“Yup,” I said. “But chili crisp has so many uses. It would be great with slow-cooked pork.”
“I come to berry crisp,” said Mrs K R. “Not to braise it.”
True. Better stop before she could puts me in a jam.
You may also enjoy reading about: