I love baking, but I definitely lack the patience for “pretty” baking. You’ll not likely find me spending a lot of time playing with fondant and decorated cookies. What I love most about making this Skillet Berry Crumble then is that it’s just so damn impressive looking when it’s all done. It’s so pretty, it’s almost a shame to eat it. Almost.
While you may oooh and aaaah over it for a bit though, you won’t be able to resist digging in. This cast iron skillet dessert is a beautiful ending to any summer barbecue, particularly when summer berries are in season. Feel free to play with the ratios of berries in it if you have more of one berry than another. Ideally the mix of all the berries listed in the recipe is best but depending on cost and season, it’s not always doable.
Where I find this dessert really makes an impression though is when it pulls double duty as both an addition to a hosted dinner, and a gift to leave behind for the hostess. There is simply nothing more versatile than a cast iron skillet and every chef should have one in their kitchen. So if you know your hostess doesn’t already own one, then whip up this flavourful dessert and you’ll practically guarantee your next invite back.
For a slightly less labour intensive gift, you could also whip up this Skillet Banana Bread. Either way, your host will always be grateful for the pan they use the most in their kitchen. Simply tie a gift tag around the pan handle and transport over (preferably warm).
Skillet Berry Crumble is best served warm with generous scoops of vanilla ice cream or dollops of whipped cream, but you certainly won’t discount it as a sweet treat for leftovers either.
Skillet Berry Crumble
For crust: Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in food processor. Add shortening and butter and pulse until coarse meal forms. Add ice water slowly, while using pulse. Blend until moist clumps form and add more water by the teaspooon if dough is a little dry. Be careful not to add too much water. Form dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
For streusel topping: Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in food processor. Drop butter in by pieces pulsing until mixture is crumbly. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
For berry filling: Preheat oven to 350F. Remove dough from refrigerator and press over bottom and up sides of a 12″ cast iron skillet. Whisk sugar, flour and salt in medium bowl. Whisk sour cream and eggs in large bowl. Stir dry ingredients into sour cream mixture. Fold in berries. Spoon filling into crust and sprinkle with streusel.
Bake for roughly 1 1/2 hours or until top is puffed and golden and the centre is cooked through. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.
This serves a crowd, so it’s perfect to bring to a buffet or serve when having a lot of guests for dinner. My favourite time to make this though is for summer barbecues when berries are at their freshest. It’s also a great hostess gift, leave the skillet behind of course.