Desserts

Berry Crisp With Whiskey Custard Sauce

Fresh Berries with a crispy buttery oat topping, smothered in a warm whiskey custard sauce. Easy elegance, and sure to impress. This is a no-fuss custard sauce that comes together easily and can be made up ahead.

This Berry Crisp With Whiskey Custard Sauce will have you doing a little happy food dance! and humming in pure bliss! Now.. before you exit this page because you saw “custard sauce,” because…

  1. You tried it before and failed…or it didn’t turn out right.
  2. It sounds too fancy or French.
  3. Or my favorite, it’s too labor intensive, and I have never done it before

Well, I’m here to dismiss all those silly reasons because this sauce is easy…it’s foolproof…and you don’t need a fancy thermometer to temper the eggs.
While the berries and oat topping are delicious on their own…the sauce is downright dreamy and decadent. Rich and velvety smooth, with a kick!


I have to keep myself from eating it by the spoonfuls….yikes! You can leave out the whiskey; however, if there is an opportunity to add booze or liquor..I’ll add it. It can add a whole new flavor profile.
This is a great dessert when you want a little something extra special to elevate a simple dessert.

Here are the ingredients you will need

You’ll find the full recipe for the berry crisp with whiskey custard sauce below, but here are a few notes on the ingredients before you go.

Vanilla bean paste ~ will lend a more robust flavor of vanilla with the beautiful specs of vanilla bean. Regular vanilla works just as well. However, I highly recommend this as a pantry staple if you love to bake. 

Whiskey ~ You can add another liquor, such as rum, or omit it altogether. Just make sure you’re using alcohol you like or would drink. You can also replace it with orange or lemon juice or more vanilla extract (not vanilla paste)

Berries ~ Choose whatever berries you like or have on hand. Mix and match; just make sure you have the same volume.

The topping ~ It’s generous!….. I’m a fan of an equal ratio of berries to topping, not just a sprinkling lol…. am I alone here? So feel free to top it with as much as you like. You can freeze this crisp topping and keep it for later!

I use quick oats because they cook up a little crisper and, of course…quicker. You can use old-fashioned oats; the texture just may be a little chewier.

The custard sauce~ It’s easy, but it takes a little love and patience, like 5- 7 minutes. This custard is excellent for other desserts, too; think trifles, parfaits, spooned-over warm brownies, or just a bowl of berries…Yum, I will confess.. because this is so good, I have put it on my overnight oats!

How to make the berry crisp with whiskey custard sauce

Start by making the custard ~ Have a small bowl with a mesh strainer ready to go. You’ll strain the custard when it’s done.

Place the heavy cream, half and half sugar, egg, butter, flour, and honey in a medium saucepan. Whisk until combined. Turn the heat to low/medium. You will want to continue to stir/whisk slowly. The custard will take a few minutes to thicken; as it does, it must be stirred to prevent it from clumping.

The custard is done as soon as it coats the back of a spoon with your finger dragged through it. (See image below). It’s better to check this sooner than later as it starts to thicken and know that it will continue to thicken as it cools.

Take off the heat, add the vanilla bean paste or vanilla and whiskey, and stir until combined. Now, pour the custard in the mesh strainer over the bowl. This process creates a silky smooth texture. Use a spoon to push it through, discard any lumps. Set aside to cool and then place in refrigerator.

Next, make your topping. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, oats, and salt. Toss in the cubed butter and mix until it comes together. I usually use my hands… mostly because It’s fun… or you can use a pastry blender if you prefer. It should hold together when you press it between your fingers.

Finally, the berries! In a bowl, gently mix in the lemon juice, zest, cornstarch, and brown sugar. If using frozen, there is no need to defrost them.

Pour berry mixture into prepared dish, cover with topping, and bake at 350 Degrees F, about 20 -30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown on top.

Enjoy!

I would love to hear if you made this tasty treat! Comment below, and share. I love swapping cooking stories or answering any questions. 🙂

Back of spoon with custard sauce to show when it's done
Your custard is done!
Finished custard sauce
See all the pretty specs of vanilla!
Two dishes of berry crisp

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Berry Crisp With Whiskey Custard Sauce


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  • Author: Teri Wallingford
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x

Description

Fresh Berries with a crispy buttery oat topping, smothered in a warm whisky custard sauce. Easy elegance, and sure to impress. This is a no-fuss custard sauce that comes together easily and can be made up ahead.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Custard

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons of whiskey. Choose one that you enjoy!
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or regular vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Berry filling

  • 1 cup each strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

 Topping

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 stick, plus 2 tablespoons butter (you may only need 1 stick) *See notes below
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and spray an 8×8 baking dish.

Custard sauce

  1. Start by making the custard ~ Have a small bowl with a mesh strainer ready to go. You’ll strain the custard when it’s done.
  2. Place the heavy cream, half and half sugar, egg, butter, flour, and honey in a medium saucepan. Whisk until combined. Turn the heat to low/medium. You will want to continue to stir/whisk slowly. The custard will take a few minutes to thicken; as it does, it must be stirred to prevent it from clumping.
  3. The custard is done as soon as it coats the back of a spoon with your finger dragged through it. (See image below). It’s better to check this sooner than later as it starts to thicken and know that it will continue to thicken as it cools.
  4. Take off the heat, add the vanilla bean paste or vanilla and whiskey, and stir until combined. Now, pour the custard in the mesh strainer over the bowl. This process creates a silky smooth texture. Use a spoon to push it through, discard any lumps. Set aside to cool and then place in refrigerator.

For the topping

  1.  In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, oats, and salt.
  2. Toss in the cubed butter and mix until it comes together. I usually use my hands… mostly because It’s fun… or you can use a pastry blender if you prefer. It should hold together when you press it between your fingers. Set aside, and assemble the crisp!

Berry mixture

  1.  In a mixing bowl (I use the same bowl I made the topping in), gently mix in the lemon juice, zest, cornstarch, and brown sugar. If using frozen, there is no need to defrost them. Assemble your crisp!
  2. Pour berry mixture into prepared dish, cover with topping, and bake at 350 Degrees F, about 20 -30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown on top.
  3. Cool. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold. Drizzle the custard sauce over the crisp right before serving. Store leftover crisp covered for up to 5 days. Leftover custard sauce for up to 3 to 4 days.

Notes

* The mixture should stick together when squeezed in the palm of your hand; if it doesn’t, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter 1 at a time.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

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