Much of the time, I’d choose a fruit crisp over pie. Not only because it’s so quick to make (and I’m so often the one making it) and because measurements don’t need the same precision, and there’s no worry over whether or not you’ll be able to extract a clean slice, but because I love sweet-tart, juicy fruit, particularly berries and stone fruits, and especially topped with a rubble of butter and brown sugar. It’s the ideal vehicle for vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, which I am an enormous fan of.
I wrote this up for a recent story in City Palate on the subject of brown liquor – all kinds of fruit go well with bourbon: think peach cobbler and boozy soaked cherries and citrusy old fashioneds. A splash of bourbon would do well in most fruit crisps, definitely apples when fall rolls around, but juicy stone fruits and berries are where it’s at. Bake this crisp in a pie plate, or divide the fruit and crumble topping between smaller or individual baking dishes. Serve your bubbling crisp topped with whipped cream sweetened with brown sugar — and spiked with more bourbon.