I ate this mixed berry crisp dessert last week and it was good I cajoled Stirling’s into giving it to me.
Perhaps one of the most popular places to eat pie in Nova Scotia is at Evangeline Cafe in Grand Pre. In true Maritime fashion, locals have called it Stirling’s since the 1940s, as it’s owned by the Stirling family.
This really confuses tourists because when we tell them to go to Stirling’s. They often end up down the road in Greenwich at the Stirling Farm Market, confused and looking for pie.
Evangeline Cafe has a full menu of food. As a kid I was always excited to have the lobster sandwiches. The burgers and Nova Scotia seafood chowder also get great reviews.
But you really do need to leave room for pie. While I was here splitting the butterscotch pie and mixed berry crisp with my mother we overheard two women talking about how they’ve never had bad pie here.
And it’s true, over the years some things are better than others but the pie is always great.
Stirling’s is open from Mother’s Day weekend through the last Saturday of October. Some people are such pie fanatics that they will come to chase the pie seasons – trying each fresh berry crisp and pie as it becomes available.
But if you can’t make it to Stirling’s in Grand Pre, the next best thing is enjoying their mixed berry crisp recipe. Although I technically ordered butterscotch pie, I couldn’t help but stab my fork into my mother’s berry crisp.
Is a Crisp the Same as a Crumble, Cobbler or Buckle?
All these of these fruit desserts use a similar recipe with minor differences:
A crisp is a baked fruit dessert with a topping of oats, spices and sometimes nuts.
And because a crumble is VERY CLOSE to a crisp, the baked fruit desserts are sometimes thought to be the same. But grandmothers know the difference. Yet crumbles usually don’t have oats or nuts and instead are like a streusel of sugar, flour and butter.
A cobbler is also a baked fruit dessert BUT it instead of an oat streusel it is topped with a biscuit or pie dough. And they say it’s called a cobbler because the biscuit topping looks like cobblestones.
A buckle often looks like a classic coffee cake. It’s called a buckle because when the batter rises the berries weigh it down causing the dessert to buckle.
Can I Substitute Strawberries or Other Berries? Can I Make Fruit Crisps?
Absolutely, a crisp recipe is very versatile. While this is a triple berry crisp, my favourite kind of crisp is an apple crisp. Pear crisps are great as well as cherry, or strawberry rhubarb. It’s basically cooked fruit with an oat crisp topping.
Can I Use Frozen Berries?
Yes. But they must be fully thawed. If there’s any berry liquid, drain the berry mixture before adding to the baking dish.
How Can I Make This a Vegan Berry Crisp?
Easy peasy. Substitute the butter for margarine and skip the vanilla ice cream.
How Can I Make This a Gluten-Free Berry Crisp?
This is a great gluten-free dessert option. Pure oats are already gluten-free.
That said you need to be careful as oats are usually processed where there is barley, wheat and rye. Contamination is very common.
But to be safe, look for gluten-free oats or go to a speciality store where they can confirm there is no cross contamination.
Does This Crisp Recipe Work as a One of Two Servings?
Yes, living alone I’ve made lots of single serving crisp recipes in ramekin dishes or these small baking dishes.
However, you do need to watch the cooking time as it can be 15-20 minutes. Once the crisp is golden and fruit is bubbling you are done!
- 4 cups Raspberries
- 2 cups Blackberries
- 1 cups Blueberries
- 1 cup White Granulated Sugar
- ¼ cup All Purpose White Flour
- 1 cup All Purpose White Flour
- 2 cups Quick oats
- 2 cups. Light Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Nutmeg
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter
- Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a baking dish (10x10 or 9x13) with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, lightly mix berries with flour and sugar by hand. It's okay if you bruise some of the berries as it's going to be cooked. Place in baking dish.
- Melt butter. As it is melting combine other ingredients and mix well. Add it to top of berries.
- Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check it at 45 minutes. If the crust has browned and the berries are bubbling you're done. But everyone's oven is different so it may take up to one hour.
This is great on its own or topped with French vanilla ice cream.
Suggested Wine Pairing
I asked Laila North who runs Uncork Nova Scotia. I took one of her wine tours and LOVED it. Laila completely understands the balance of having fun and learning interesting things like Nova Scotia has the same climate as the Champagne region in France.
An Easy Guide to Nova Scotia Wine
She suggests Gaspereau Vineyard’s Maple Wine made with fermented maple “juice” or the Pomme d’Or Apple Cream Liquor from Domaine de Grand Pré. I’ve had both and they are delicious – plus they make great souvenirs and gifts for family.
If you’re coming to Nova Scotia and want to learn about Nova Scotia wine, I highly recommend her tour.
Pin it For Later: Triple Berry Crisp
This mixed berry crisp post is part of a paid partnership with Tourism Nova Scotia where I independently explore where I grew up to share what I think is the best food and wine in the Annapolis Valley. I am thrilled to work with him as it’s a dream job to promote my home. And big thanks to Stirling’s…err Evangeline Cafe, who graciously gave me their crisp recipe.