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

Pechluck’s Food Adventures’ Prosciutto wrapped Cantaloupe with Red Pepper Lime Oil and Manchego
Margaritas in the Rain’s Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeños with Cream Cheese and Pineapple
Tossing the Script’s Greek Crostini

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