Skillet Streusel (and Stovetop Crumble)
My greatest dessert weakness is for crisps and cobblers. Do any of you feel the same way? I can walk away from chocolate torte or pass by a cheesecake without a twinge of longing, but put a bowl of apple crisp in front of me and I’m a goner.
Crisps and cobblers are pretty simple to make, but you’re looking at more than an hour’s time commitment, between preheating the stove, making the topping and filling, and baking. I wondered if there might be a shortcut—a way to get the thrill of the crisp without the wait.
Readers, I’ve done it. A streusel topping you cook in a skillet in 15 minutes. You can make a batch, use a little, and freeze the rest. You can put it on ice cream, yogurt, or puddings. You can cook up some blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or peaches in a pot with some sugar for just a few minutes, then top it with the streusel. Today, I had some fresh rhubarb, so that’s what I used (I cooked it with sugar to taste and a little lemon juice. Simple.). In the amount of time it took to “toast” the streusel in the skillet, the rhubarb was cooked.
Here’s how you make the streusel.
Total time: 15 minutes
Active time: 15 minutes
Makes: 8 servings
- 1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped fine
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 7 tablespoons salted butter, melted
In a medium bowl, stir together the pecans, flour, brown sugar, and salt.
Add the butter and stir with a fork until small clumps form.
Set a large skillet over medium heat. Pour the streusel into the pan. At first, it will look quite pale.
Cook the streusel, stirring almost constantly. It will soon begin to darken in color. If the mixture starts to stick or burn, reduce the heat to low. When it turns a nice toasty brown, remove it from the heat.
Spoon the topping over cooked fruit, yogurt, ice cream, or pudding. Transfer any unused streusel to a zip-top bag and freeze for up to 6 months (warm it briefly in a skillet over medium heat to defrost). Enjoy!
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