This is one of our base recipes. This recipe is for those of you that don’t love making homemade pie crust. The dietitian chefs at To Taste count ourselves among that crowd, which is why we developed this alternative dessert recipe. This crisp recipe is made with frozen fruit, making prep time that much quicker for you! Frozen fruit crisp also happens to be a naturally healthier (but just as delicious) alternative to pie. Give it a try and let us know how it turns out for you!
Three Must-Know Cooking Skills
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for Making the Best Frozen Fruit Crisp
When measuring brown sugar, be sure to pack it in the cup. Watch this culinary technique video to learn how to measure brown sugar properly!
Use ~1 teaspoon of lemon zest in place of or in addition to the lemon juice to enhance the lemon flavor.
Frozen berries can be tart depending on the variety, so you might need to add 1-2 tablespoons more sugar to the fruit. Note that the crisp topping is sweet on its own, so it will also help balance any tartness.
Different fruits store different amounts of water. When using frozen berries or cherries, use 3 Tablespoons of cornstarch. If using peaches, pears, pineapple, mangos, or apples, use 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch.
- Frozen Fruit: use any variety of fresh or frozen fruit. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, dark cherries, blackberries, apples, peaches, pears, mangos, or a combination of a few are all great options.
- Brown Sugar: substitute white cane sugar, but note that the flavor won’t be as complex. Honey can also work, but if using, drizzle it over the frozen fruit after coating the fruit in cornstarch.
- Cornstarch: substitute ¼ cup all purpose flour.
- Lemon Juice: substitute orange juice. You can also add or substitute 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
- Old Fashioned Oats: you can substitute quick oats, but note the quality of the crisp is not as good. Do not substitute steel cut oats.
- All Purpose Flour: substitute whole wheat pastry flour for added nutrition, but note that the crust will be denser.
- Nuts: use sliced almonds, chopped pecans, or chopped walnuts.
- Butter: you can try substituting avocado or canola oil, but we weren’t impressed with the results. We did not test coconut oil, but it would probably work better than other oils.
Base Recipe Variations
Remember that this is a base recipe, so the goal is for you to customize to your taste!
Add any other ingredients such as a teaspoon of vanilla or teaspoon of cinnamon to the crisp mixture. If you’re low on one fruit, go ahead and mix and match a few of your favorites.
Need some recipe inspiration?
Try out these variations!
This recipe doesn’t require any fancy equipment, just a few kitchen staples:
If you choose to serve this frozen fruit crisp recipe with homemade whipped cream, you may also want an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. Whisking by hand is always an option too, just get ready for a good arm workout!
Frozen Fruit Crisp Nutrition Facts
Although this is a dessert recipe, we still found a few ways to ensure you get some good nutrition in every bite. Fruit, old-fashioned oats, nuts, and less sugar than most desserts makes this a perfect recipe for those looking for a lighter dessert!
Fruit is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Together, these nutrients promote heart health and may reduce inflammation. (1)
Oats of any variety are a good source of fiber and complex carbohydrates. Fiber is important for digestion, satiety, stable blood sugar, good cholesterol, and healthy gut bacteria. Complex carbohydrates are important for steady energy and focus. (2, 3)
Nuts are a great source of plant-based protein and healthy fat.
Less Sugar than Most Desserts
Although we expect to find sugar in most desserts, many recipes and pre-made desserts contain way more than necessary. In this frozen fruit crisp, we use lemon juice to enhance the natural sweetness of the fruit and nuts, then add some brown sugar to balance the flavors out. Each serving of frozen fruit crisp contains ~14 grams (~1 Tablespoon) of added sugar – far less than you would find in any store bought dessert! Even homemade fruit crisp recipes have almost twice the amount of sugar than is in this recipe!
You can also make this recipe a day or two in advance. Allow to cool completely, then cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to eat. To reheat, preheat the oven to 350ºF and cook for 20 minutes, or until fruits are bubbling and mixture is heated through.
You can also serve fruit crisp chilled on its own or topped with whipped cream. Good luck keeping sneaky hands from sampling a taste if you leave it in the fridge for too long before serving!
Cool completely, cover, and place in the refrigerator. The fruit crisp will keep its quality in the refrigerator for 3-5 days (but we doubt it will last that long!). The crispy topping may begin to get soggy, but we promise it will still taste good!
Want more healthy recipes to complete a meal?
Use these other recipes to create a delicious summer meal!
Frozen Fruit Crisp Base Recipe
- 32 ounces (~6 cups) frozen fruit pieces
- ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided
- 2-3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup chopped, sliced, or slivered nuts
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup butter (1 stick)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Place frozen fruit in an 8×8 baking dish. Add 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Mix to combine.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, flour, nuts, remaining brown sugar, and salt.
- Cut butter into ½ inch cubes. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it makes a coarse crumbly mixture. Do not overmix. Sprinkle oat mixture on top of fruit in an even layer.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit mixture is bubbling around the edges of the pan. Cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!