Summer Fruit Crisp with Date, Walnut, Olive Oil Topping

Wholesome Summer Fruit Crisp

When you consider the panoply of rustic fruit desserts in the cannon of American home cooking, from cobblers to slumps, I’ll go for a crisp every time. Sliced fruit baked until its juices bubble with a crunchy oatmeal-flecked topping? It gets me every time. Plus, it’s quick to make and easy to give a healthy spin. Case in point is this homey and healthy Summer Fruit Crisp.

ingredients for fruit crisp

The recipe starts with a topping that’s built on a base of Medjool dates, which get whirled in a food processor with olive oil. Then, in goes whole-grain flour, oats, walnuts, and a bit of brown sugar. Scatter that over berries mixed with stone fruit and you’ve got a real winner on your hands. It’s wholesome, sure, but it’s still very much dessert. The dates in the topping add an appealing chew that pairs deliciously with peaches or whatever happens to be at the farm stand.

A Flexible Summer Crisp Recipe

Like so many rustic desserts, this healthy summer fruit crisp is primed for tinkering. Here are a few suggestions that may come in handy:

  • Use peaches, nectarines, plums, and apricots interchangeably, depending on what’s in season and available.
  • Stir in blackberries or blueberries or a combination of the two. If fresh isn’t available, add frozen berries straight from the freezer.
  • Make the topping with white whole-wheat, whole-wheat, all-purpose, or gluten-free all purpose instead whole-wheat pastry flour if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Leave the nuts out entirely if you have a nut allergy in your house. Alternatively, substitute chopped pecans, hazelnuts, or almonds for the walnuts.
  • Make the crisp using apples or pears if stone fruit isn’t in season.
white pan with peach crisp and spatula

What Makes this Recipe Healthy?

Before I get into the healthy (ish) upsides to this recipe, let’s get something straight: It’s still dessert. If you didn’t know what was going on behind the scenes, you’d likely never guess it was full of nutrition upgrades. It’s plainly delicious and also…

  1. Full of fiber, with 7 grams per serving. That’s thanks in part to its whole-grains, both whole-wheat pastry flour and rolled oats. The dates, fruit, and walnuts also add fiber to the mix.
  2. Rich in healthy fats with just 1 gram of saturated fat per serving, courtesy of walnuts and olive oil, the latter of which takes the place of butter.
  3. Not a lot of added sugar. The entire recipe has 6 to 7 tablespoons. That, along with the fiber and fats, means you’re less likely to get a sugar spike and crash than after eating a typical slice of crisp.
Summer fruit crisp with ice cream container

If you like this Healthy Summer Fruit Crisp, you might like:

The Fruit Crisps in Little Jars in my cookbook PREP

Wild Blueberry Tart with GF Crust

Rustic Apple Tart

Upside Down Plum Cake

Roasted Apricots with Crème Fraîche

Rustic Strawberry Galette by Marcia Smart

Summer Fruit Crisp with Date, Walnut, Olive Oil Topping

This wholesome summer fruit crisp is one to add to the archives, since you'll want to return to it again and again. It's full of healthy upgrades, including whole-grain flour, oats, dates, and olive oil. It's still very much dessert and entirely delicious. Use any strone fruit if making this during the summer and apples or pears during the off-season.

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 323 kcal
Author Katie Morford

Ingredients

Crisp Topping

  • 5 pitted Medjool dates (6 if they’re not very big)
  • 3 tablespoons mild/fruity extra-virgin olive oil (don't use a grassy/peppery oil)
  • ½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Fruit Filling

  • 1 3/4 pounds peaches, nectarines, apricots, or plums, cut into 1/3-inch wedges
  • 1 heaping cup blueberries/wild blueberries or blackberries (use frozen, not defrosted, if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. In a food processor with a metal blade, pulverize the dates with olive oil into tiny pieces until they begin to come together in a dark clump.

  3. Transfer the dates to a medium bowl, being sure to scrape the olive oil off the sides and into the bowl. Add the flour, oats, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Use a fork to mix the ingredients together, breaking up the clump of dates. Once slightly mixed, use your hands to continue to break up the mixture into pea-size crumbles that are relatively even in size.

  4. In a large bowl, put the peaches, berries, cornstarch, lemon juice, and brown sugar and toss until the fruit is evenly coated. Taste and add a little more brown sugar if the fruit is fairly tart. Transfer to a baking pan large enough that the fruit approaches the top, such as an 8-inch square or round pan, a 7×9-inch rectangular pan, or an oval casserole. Sprinkle the Crisp Topping over the fruit.

  5. Bake until the topping is deeply browned and the juices bubble, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Serve as is or with a scoop of ice cream or dollop of my Yogurt Whipped Cream or Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream (see notes).

Recipe Notes

You’ll find these by dropping the recipe name in the search box. 

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