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.

Advertisement

Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
For the Crumble:
For the Fruit Mixture:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

    Advertisement
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

415.7 calories; 4.6 g protein; 58.2 g carbohydrates; 97 mg cholesterol; 123.9 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (71)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
07/14/2018
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 imagined that apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper would have played a role in such a sweet berry dish. But it was overall Superb! Will definitely make this one often in berry season. Read More
(10)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
04/16/2019
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. Read More
(3)
93 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 82
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
07/14/2018
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 imagined that apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper would have played a role in such a sweet berry dish. But it was overall Superb! Will definitely make this one often in berry season. Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
07/06/2018
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 mixture to memory. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
06/20/2018
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!! Read More
(7)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
07/06/2019
My husband and amateur food critic son loved this ultimate berry crumble. I made the recipe exactly as written and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. For those who expressed frustration with grating the butter, you must freeze the butter first and use a grater, not a micro plane zester, which has very tiny holes. I would not change a thing. The flavor of the crumble reminded me of shortbread. It was not bland at all. Yum! Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
11/16/2018
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 filled the pie plate almost to the top with berries and then put a heavy layer of crumbles. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
05/28/2018
This really is...Ultimate! Absolutely fantastic. No changes except throwing in a few strawberries. Chef John rocks! Read More
(3)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
06/01/2018
This is a keeper! Thank you! Read More
(3)
Rating: 3 stars
04/16/2019
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. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
03/03/2020
Very good. I added cinnamon to the crumble and subbed half the sugar with brown sugar in the crumb mix. Read More
(2)