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The Ultimate Berry Crumble

Rated as 4.81 out of 5 Stars

"I don't tack the word ultimate onto just any recipe. This berry well may be my favorite summer dessert, with the perfect balance of sweet and tart, tender and crisp, fruit and crumble. Some ice cream on the side is highly recommended."
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1 h 25 m servings 416
Original recipe yields 8 servings (1 2-quart baking dish)


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  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Grate in the frozen butter, stopping occasionally to toss the butter into the flour mixture until coated. Drizzle in vanilla extract; add egg yolks. Stir with a fork until egg is mostly absorbed. Add vinegar; mix briefly. Use your hands to finish mixing, squeezing until clumps but mixture remains mostly dry. Add 1 teaspoon vinegar if needed.
  3. Combine blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries in another bowl. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch. Sprinkle in cayenne pepper. Mix until sugar and cornstarch are mostly dissolved.
  4. Place about 1/2 of the crumble mixture into the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Press mixture down using a flat cup until well compacted. Spread the berries over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture on top, squeezing some of it into clumps.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until top is beautifully browned and berry syrup bubbles on the surface, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.


  • Chef's Notes:
  • You can use self-rising flour and skip the all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder combination.
  • Use any variety of berries; ripe peaches and other summer stone fruit would also be fantastic. You can use frozen berries, which are a lot juicier, so keep that in mind when making cornstarch-related decisions.
  • If you want a pie-like filling, you'll want to toss in about 1 to 4 teaspoons of cornstarch, otherwise for a runnier fruit mixture cut it in half, or leave it out altogether.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 416 calories; 18.9 58.2 4.6 97 124 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 33
  1. 47 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

The whole family enjoyed this! As usual, Chef John showed us in the video how to add some professional tweaks that make a big difference to the final product. Additionally, I never would have ...

Most helpful critical review

It was okay, the crust/base was bland. I would make it with brown sugar instead to add some depth of flavour and the caramel flavour would really enhance the berries.

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Most positive
Least positive

The whole family enjoyed this! As usual, Chef John showed us in the video how to add some professional tweaks that make a big difference to the final product. Additionally, I never would have ...

I can't tell you how many crisps, crumbles and cobblers I've made over my 40+ years in the kitchen - but believe me when I tell you this one is the ultimate. So good I've committed the crumble m...

This is amazing! I don’t always take the time to watch recipe videos, but this one was helpful. I used all raspberries and forgot the cayenne, but kept everything else the same. So good!!

This is a keeper! Thank you!

This really is...Ultimate! Absolutely fantastic. No changes except throwing in a few strawberries. Chef John, rocks!

I’ve made it twice. This time I skipped the bottom crust and put more crumbles on top. No raspberries. They get too mushy. I used a combination of fresh and frozen and used lots more. I f...

This is the first time I have actually watched a video for a recipe. (I guess I think I got it all figured out by now!) But I did watch Chef John's video showing him enjoying grating butter fo...

Turned out perfect! Yum

I have made this twice and it is wonderful!!