Summer Skillet Fruit Crisp

Submitting a recipe for a contest is always an ordeal for me. I feel like it may be one shared by many cooks. Even if it's not MY recipe (say it's adapted or even straight from a book), I worry that my execution of the recipe won't do it the justice it deserves. Last weekend, I participated in a Portland Food Blogger Tapas Contest, (hosted at Whole Foods Market in downtown Portland) and although it was a seemingly small group of food bloggers in attendance--my expectation for my entry was high.

I started with a completely different recipe to be honest with you. Originally, I was going to make my soon-to-be-famous Molé Lava Cakes (yes, the ones shot by Aubrie), but I couldn't bring myself to buy another dozen ramekins to feed everyone. Instead, I tried making mini lava cakes. BIG MISTAKE. No longer lava...just small, funny-shaped brownies. So the DAY OF THE EVENT I headed out to the Portland State Farmer's Market, my heart set on coming home with fresh fruit to make a dessert deserving of this contest.

I also had quite a bit of help from my dear friend Rick Bayless, mind you.

The recipe seemed to be a success at the event--and the event itself was absolutely stupendous. In all, there were about 10-13 food bloggers involved. Each person brought a different dish, and to my amazement there wasn't a single repeat! I was one of two desserts served, and because I cannot think of a single entry that didn't blow my socks off, I will be posting to the recipe links as I find them. The event was sponsored by Tiny Prints, Goodness Knows, Black Rock Coffee, Pukka Herbal Tea, and Ulysses Press--who all provided a great goodie bag for attendees.

This skillet crisp is amazing, not because it's a culinary feat or a feast for one's eyes but simply because it is one of very few "one pot" desserts! This whole recipe only used my favorite 12 inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet, a spatula, a small knife, one mixing bowl, one wooden spoon, and my cutting board. I'm sorry--but that's very little cookware in my opinion. It cooked up and could even be served in the same dish--which a few people at the event took note of. I got texts and notes on Instagram later that day asking me for the link to my pan on Amazon! To me...that makes this recipe a real winner.

Oh, and apparently also good enough for a spot in the four way 3rd place spot!

Summer Skillet Fruit Crisp
(Adapted from Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday)


  • 1 stick butter (8 oz), softened
  • 2 lb apples or pears (I used Gravenstein apples and they worked out perfectly--remember TART is better for baking!), cored and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/2 lb strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 lb blueberries 
  • 1/2 c plus 2T white sugar
  • 2/3 c flour (whole wheat or whole-grain spelt flour for the best "nutty" flavor)
  • 1/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 t ground Mexican cinnamon
  • 3/4 c toasted pecans, chopped or broken apart by hand


Preheat the oven to 400º F and set a 10-12 inch cast iron pan on the stove on medium heat. Melt 2 T of butter in the pan, then (once the pan is coated) add apples, strawberries and blueberries. For a pan on the smaller end of the spectrum, I suggest only using 1 1/2 lb apples as to not overflow the pan while cooking. Sprinkle the fruit with 2 T white sugar and cook (stirring regularly!) until the liquids evaporate for the most part, approximately 12-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the pecans--I like to do mine in the toaster oven so I can watch them closely as to not burn them. They toast in approximately 3 minutes. Combine into a medium bowl the rest of the butter, sugars (remaining 1/2c white and 1/4 c brown), flour, cinnamon, and salt (only if using unsalted butter). Work at the mixture with a wooden spoon until it forms a streusel-like topping (this can also be done in a food processor). Stir in the pecans. Crumble the topping evenly over the fruit in the skillet, and pop the pan into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until topping is crispy. Serve warm or room temperature. This recipe serves 10-12 for dessert.

More Recipes from the Tapas Party

UrbanBlissLife's Manchego Cheese-Stuffed Spanish Meatballs
Cooking Catastrophe's Aceitunas a la Sevillana
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