On chilly mornings, cold fruit and granola just won’t do. What will, however, is soft, lightly sweetened roasted fruit with lots of buttery oat and nut topping. It’s a crumble, folks. You know you want some. While a classic crumble tends to be heavier on the fruit, the key to a truly excellent crumble is to shoot for a 50:50 fruit-to-topping ratio, and that means a sheet pan. With a sheet pan, you’ll still get lots of bubbly, sticky-soft fruit, but you also allow the topping to fill all the gaps. Bits of the topping meld with the fruit, softening it just enough, while the rest stays crisp and crunchy. Scoop yourself a bowl and you’ll understand why you need to try this.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF and rub a large sheet pan with butter.
Peel and chop about 3 pounds of fruit, whatever fruit moves you—apples, peaches, pears, plums, berries (black, blue, straw-, rasp-, and cran) are all acceptable. Combine a couple different fruits if you like, or go with whatever is in season. Place the fruit in a large bowl and toss it with 2 tablespoons lemon or orange juice, 1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest, 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey, and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Let the fruit sit for 10 minutes, then spread it out in the sheet pan and cover it with foil. Bake the fruit until it’s beginning to soften, about 15 minutes for berries and 20 minutes for firmer fruit like apples.
While the fruit is baking, make the crumble: mix together 2 cups rolled oats, ¼ cup slivered almonds or chopped hazelnuts, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon allspice, and a good pinch of kosher salt in a medium bowl. Use a wooden spoon or your fingers to mix in ¼ cup melted butter.
Pull the sheet pan out of the oven and remove the foil. Cover the fruit with the filling and place the pan back in the oven. Bake the crumble for 15 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.
Serve this crumble in cereal bowls with a glug of cold heavy cream, or whipped, if you’d prefer.