There are more than a dozen species of berries that go by the name huckleberry in North America, but the kind you'll find at farm stands, fairs, and restaurants are usually the deep purple mountain huckleberry, which has a fragrant, jammy flavor somewhere between a blueberry's and a blackberry's. These warm and bubbly baked desserts can be made with either fresh or frozen huckleberries, or blueberries.
- 6 tbsp. plus 1/2 cup sugar
- 6 tbsp. flour
- 1⁄4 cup rolled oats
- 1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1⁄4 chopped walnuts
- 1 tsp. lemon zest plus 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 3⁄4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cups huckleberries or blueberries
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. brandy
- Crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream, for serving
Heat oven to 350°. Place four 6-oz. fluted ceramic ramekins on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, combine 6 tbsp. sugar, flour, oats, brown sugar, walnuts, lemon zest, 1⁄4 tsp. vanilla, 1⁄4 tsp. salt, and cinnamon. Using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until crumbly; transfer topping to freezer to let chill for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir together the remaining sugar and salt, lemon juice, and remaining vanilla, along with the huckleberries, cornstarch, and brandy; divide berry mixture between the ramekins. Mound some of the topping over each ramekin. Bake until the berries are bubbly and the topping is browned, 35–40 minutes. Top each crisp with a dollop of crème fraîche, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.