When you get your hands on good peaches or strawberries, it’s great to be able to make a fruit crisp, one of those comfort desserts everyone enjoys. But you don’t have to start a crisp from scratch if you use this trick: Keep a crisp topping in the freezer.
This topping recipe can be used immediately, stored up to two days in the refrigerator or frozen for a month. Just be sure to wrap it airtight in double plastic bags. It’s not necessary to thaw the topping before using. If the topping freezes into a mass, massage the bag to crumble it.
Here, I’ve combined two fruits in each crisp recipe, though other combinations are possible. These take advantage of summer, when peaches, blueberries and strawberries are readily available. Rhubarb, though often thought of as a springtime crop, can be found at farmers markets and grocery stores into fall.
As a thickener, I prefer quick-cooking tapioca to flour or cornstarch. It thickens the juices without clouding them or thickening them too much. The juices are always clear, slightly runny and not at all “pasty.”