Blueberry Crumble

An old family favorite, this blueberry crumble recipe has been passed down to me from my Aunt Janet, who learned it from my grandmother and called it Blueberry Belle Crunch. Honestly, I have no idea why it has such a funny title, but it doesn’t matter. The crumble is so easy to throw together that no matter what you call it, you’ll be more than happy with the result. It’s especially memorable when served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.–Ian Knauer

LC A La Mode Note

One of our intrepid recipe testers, Lori Widmeyer, encountered a rather interesting dilemma when she baked this blueberry crumble for her husband and sons. “The debate was whether the crumble should be on the side of the ice cream, underneath it, or on top,” she explained. “It started when my husband put the blueberry crumble on the bottom of the dish with the ice cream on top,” she said. “Then my son Matthew put them side by side so he could determine bite by bite just how much ice cream to blueberry crumble he wanted. My other son Jonathan then put his crumble on top of his ice cream and joked he would try it each way. It caught on, with my husband quickly coming back for seconds, and the rest of us, too. It had us all laughing, mostly because each try was really just an excuse to have a little more cobbler, all in the name of research. Truth be told, with a dessert this good, I don’t think you could come up with a bad way to eat it!”

The verdict? “The majority felt side-by-side was best to allow you to have total control of the ratio of cold to warm in each bite,” said Lori. Makes splendid sense to us. But you better try each out for yourself, just to be sure. The one certainty is that this crumble instantly becomes infinitely better with a scoop of ice cream plopped in its general vicinity.

Blueberry Crumble Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 50 M
  • Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • For the blueberry filling
  • 12 ounces (about 1 pint) fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, depending on how tart the blueberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the crumble
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes and softened just a little, plus more for the pie plate
  • Vanilla ice cream, preferably homemade

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Generously butter a 9-inch pie plate.
  • Make the blueberry filling
  • 2. Nibble a blueberry or three to determine how sweet or tart it is. Toss the blueberries with the sugar, flour, lemon juice, and salt, adjusting the amount of lemon juice according to the relative sweetness or tartness of the berries. Transfer the berries to the pie plate.
  • Make the crumble
  • 3. Stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Blend in the butter with your fingertips or a pastry cutter until well combined. Crumble the topping over the berries in large clumps.
  • 4. Bake the crunch until the berry filling is bubbling and the crunch is set and browned in places, 25 to 35 minutes. Let the crunch cool slightly, but only slightly, before spooning it onto plates or into dishes and serving it warm with a scoop of ice cream plopped on top or on the side or even on the bottom (see LC A La Mode Note above).
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Natalie Reebel

May 25, 2012

I have always shied away from blueberry cobblers and crunches because they can be so sugary sweet. This one, however, is one of the best fruit desserts–and not just blueberry–I have ever made. The easy-to-prepare crumble is absolutely wonderful. It bakes up golden brown and slightly crisp and adds just the right texture to the dish. The fruit portion of the crumble is perfectly balanced–not too sweet and not too tart. Add a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream, and you have a dessert that looks humble but is so luxurious and satisfying. This recipe is well worth getting butter on your hands for.

Testers Choice
Linda B.

May 25, 2012

Yum! Simple and sooo good! Much easier than a pie. The recipe makes a nice-sized dessert that is great for a weekday meal. Next time I might put a little less flour in the filling, but otherwise I wouldn’t change a thing!

Testers Choice
Lori Widmeyer

May 25, 2012

This was one of those perfect-storm recipes, with all the right elements coming together to make something amazing. The warm fruit with the crunchy texture of the topping paired with the creamy cold ice cream was perfect. The only debate in the family was if the fruit dessert should be on the side of the ice cream, underneath it, or on top, although maybe this was just an excuse to have three helpings. The majority felt side-by-side was best, to allow you to have total control of the ratio of cold to warm in each bite. The recipe came together very quickly and was so easy. This is a new family favorite!

Testers Choice
Eydie Desser

May 25, 2012

If you want a dessert that is quick and easy to put together and will delight your guests, make this Blueberry Crumble and serve it with vanilla ice cream or homemade cinnamon ice cream. The recipe works as-is, no need for any changes. The lemon juice gives the richness of the dessert a nice brightness. The only trouble is that the recipe says it serves 6 to 8, but it's more like 4 to 5 as everyone will go back for seconds!

Testers Choice
Bette Fraser

May 25, 2012

A 10 in my book. Excellent and loved by my hubby and our houseguest. We all ate it as quickly as we could. Quick and easy and sure to be a stand-by during blueberry season.

Testers Choice
Raye Tiedmann

May 25, 2012

This takes no time to put together and can be divided, like I did, to make individual tarts. The topping was nice and crunchy. I didn’t do the ice cream–we just ate it warm from the oven–although I’m going to fold the leftovers into some ice cream, just like the ice cream companies do! Enjoy this little recipe.

Testers Choice
Joan Osborne

May 25, 2012

It’s a breeze to make and looks wonderful. Although my niece and others loved it, this was much too sweet for my tastes. If I made it again for myself, I’d leave out some of the sugar. If you have sweet-toothed friends and family, then this would be great for them.

Testers Choice
Jackie G.

May 25, 2012

This is a delicious dish. I was going to call it a delicious dessert, but it proved to be a delicious breakfast, too. (Lunch, anyone?) It’s very quick and easy to throw together. The finished product is excellent, even without ice cream. Although I sprinkled the crunchy topping on evenly, I found that it seemed to morph and clump up in spots. The very center of the crumble was still a bit wet, even after the berries were bubbling away and the outside of the crumble was browned. I removed it from the oven anyway. I was surprised to see a wet ingredient, the vanilla, in the crumble. I don’t know if that caused the moistness in the topping, although that in no way stopped this from being a winner.

Testers Choice
Robert Castagna

May 25, 2012

It worked very well. I would like to substitute crushed pretzels for the oats and take out the salt.

We were moving out of our apartment last weekend and I wanted to do something sweet—literally—for the super and the doormen who work at the apartment building, but I didn't have a heck of a lot of time. So I threw together this crumble topping and heaped it on top of my usual apple pie filling. It never made it to its intended recipients. My 12-year-old nephew and my husband caught one whiff of the dessert cooling on the stovetop and the rest was history. My guys loooooved the crumble topping for its own merits as well as the fact that it doesn't try to compete with the fruit beneath. And I loooooved the fact that I could toss it together in less than 10 minutes. It's now our go-to topping for any sorta fruit that's in season. Blueberries. Peaches. Pears. Rhubarb.The guys at the building didn't stand a chance. One of these times maybe I'll be able to sneak a crumble out of the kitchen to the guys at the old building. P.S. It's weeks later, and at least once a week my nephew wakes up begging for this dessert. My mother-in-law snitched the crumble I made for my nephew's birthday so I had to make another one. And the neighbors who tried it for the first time last weekend? They just demanded that we bring another one to their backyard barbecue this afternoon—actually, they asked that we bring two. It's that good.


Comments
Comments
  1. Jeanette says:

    I’ve got a gluten-free version of this in my oven right now and can’t wait to share it with my friends tonight.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Jeannette, we’ll be waiting to hear what you and everyone thinks. Did you simply substitute a gluten-free all-purpose baking mix for the flour, or…?

  2. Alanna says:

    This looks like the ultimate crumble! Love the pebbly topping. I’m planning to make it tomorrow, and am wondering if anyone’s tried this with old-fashioned rolled oats in place of the quick ones. Will they be a deal breaker?

    • David Leite says:

      Hi Alanna, because old-fashioned oats are thicker, versus quick oats which are chopped into small pieces, you’ll get a different texture. (It would be chewier.) If old-fashioned oats are all you have, give some a spin in a food processor or blender. That will break them up to approximate quick-cooking oats.

      Now, don’t forget to come back here and tell us what you thought of the recipe!

      • Alanna says:

        Hi, David. Thank you for your response, and thank you for posting this awesome crumble recipe. Curiosity got the better of me, and I got some quick oats. The thinner oats made the texture of the topping light and crisp as a butter cookie. I’m a believer! The topping is spot on–a little sweet, a little oaty, a little salty. Just what I’ve been searching for. I will make it again and again!

        I varied the recipe a bit by adding cardamom to the topping, and using raspberries, plums and rhubarb (with a splash of port) as the fruit.

        Thank you again for such a killer recipe. : )

        • David Leite says:

          Alanna, my pleasure. I’m so happy it turned out for you. And you’re variation sounds lovely. I love the idea of using Port wine.

  3. Just wanted to follow-up from the Facebook comment I left on Friday…this was delicious! My husband, son, and I all loved it. I ended up using regular oats instead of quick-cooking and I thought it still turned out great. Will definitely be making this one again soon…next time I need to get the ice cream maker out and whip up some homemade vanilla bean ice cream to go with it (although it was still heavenly with store-bought.) :)

    -m

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Fabulous, Meaghz! We so appreciate you taking the time to let us know! And yes, that Vanilla Bean Ice Cream would be lovely here, although clearly one must do what one must do when one has warm crumble and just can’t wait for homemade ice cream. Look forward to hearing what recipe you try next….

  4. This dessert was awesome! I love eating blueberries but I usually am not a fan of blueberry desserts . I had some blueberries I needed to use up and came across this recipe. It was so simple to put together. My husband loved it! This is definitely a keeper!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Lovely to hear that you fell for this dessert as hard as we did, Rachel! Many, many thanks for letting us know. We so appreciate it. And just thing, blueberry season lasts for several more weeks…!

  5. I just made this and it’s fantastic, but seriously, 1 pt of blueberries? I knew that wouldn’t be enough for 4 so used 3 pints instead of 1 and increased the topping a bit.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Love your name, openyoupiehole! And glad you were able to make the crumble suit your tastes and appetites!

  6. Jessica says:

    Has anyone used frozen blueberries? Did it make a difference?

    • Beth Price says:

      Hi Jessica, we didn’t test it with frozen blueberries, but they should be fine. Your filling might be a bit juicier but with all that lovely crumble to soak up the blueberry goodness…oh dear, I think that I have some blueberries in the freezer. May have to try this for breakfast…

    • Beth Price says:

      Well, as a follow-up, I did have this for breakfast. And what a decadent breakfast it was! I used the same amount of frozen blueberries and followed the rest of the instructions exactly. Since my berries were frozen it took an additional 30 minutes for the filling to become bubbly. Next time, I would thaw and dry my berries before using them as the topping got a bit browner than I would have liked, and I would also cut back the amount of sugar by 1/4 cup as my frozen berries were very sweet. Hope this helps!

  7. April says:

    A little fresh lemon zest and juice will brighten this wonderful recipe. I can not sit still as I am wanting to make this SO badly, Here I go off the the market to grab some local grown blueberries! Thank you for sharing this one! YUM!

  8. Martha in KS says:

    Never one to leave well enough alone, wanted more berries & didn’t want a skimpy crumble. I used 6 cups of frozen blueberries (thawed), increased the flour to 1/4 cup, and added orange rind since I had no lemons. For the topping I added 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and used old-fashioned oats, and added cinnamon and nutmeg. The results are delicious and the crumble tastes like oatmeal cookies. Perfect with the ice cream I made yesterday.

    Blueberry Crumble Recipe

  9. Marina Maria says:

    Hi David! =) Do you think this would also work with strawberries and regular oats? Oh, and in that case, should I skip the lemon juice? Thank you so much!

    • David Leite David Leite says:

      Hi Marina, you can certainly make a strawberry crumble, but to change the fruit and the type of oats is really a departure from this recipe. You’d need to address the acid level, thickening power, and perhaps add an additional fruit, such a peaches or rhubarb, for balance. My suggestion: If you’d like to make a strawberry crumble, consider this Any Fruit Crumble. It’s a better option because it’s develop to accommodate different fruit. I’d just hate for you to have a less than stellar result with this crumble–as it’s one of my favorites and is always a winner. In fact, I made it this past weekend. To rave reviews, natch.

  10. Marina Maria says:

    Hi David! Thank you so much for your answer. Actually I would love to make this recipe as it is, but blueberries are hard to find and Brasil, and when we can find them, they are really expensive. Strawberries, on the other hand, are in season! =) So I will definitely try the other recipe you suggested!

    • David Leite David Leite says:

      Ah, I see, Marina. In that case, give it a whirl and report back with the findings. Because we didn’t test the recipe with strawberries, it’s really hard for us to be able to say with utter certainty how it will turn out. On top of that you’re in a different country, which also impacts results. But often times readers take a chance and everyone benefits!

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