Bumble Crumble in a Skillet

In Canada, we celebrated Victoria Day today. It’s a holiday that we embrace with open arms because it usually marks the first long weekend of the year with warmer weather–and this year didn’t disappoint. The weather this weekend was spectacular.

As it heats up outside, I the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven. Sometimes it can’t be avoided, but I love it when there’s an easy alternative. Such was the case this weekend when I made a humble bumble crumble in a cast iron skillet on the barbeque. I cooked it on our barbeque at home and then transported it (by wagon) to our friends that live in the neighbourhood. It was so easy to throw the skillet on the barbeque at low heat (just to warm the crumble) while we ate dinner. I’ll definitely be making this again (and again) this summer. Now I know that for some of my European friends barbequing isn’t an option, so of course this crumble would work just as well in the oven–with or without the skillet. 

In case you’re thinking that this sounds and looks a lot like a crisp, I did a little research and confirmed that according to my trusted Cobblers, Crumbles and Crisps book that I’ve had for decades, crumbles and crisps are interchangeable. Both have a sweetened fruit base topped with a crumbly shortbread pastry. Apparently crisps are called crumbles in Great Britain, where the toppings often contain rolled oats in addition to flour. I’ve used a family recipe for the crumble–adding the slivered almonds and a bit of cinnamon to the mix.

I’ll take a crisp or a crumble for dessert any day. It’s such a simple dessert, but when served warm with ice cream, there’s nothing like it.

Bumble Crumble [in a Skillet]

  • 4.5 cups of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and diced
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch


  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds

Mix the fruit with the sugar and corn starch and place in the bottom of a 10″ cast iron skillet. (A 10″ pie plate can be used if you are not cooking this on the barbeque.)

In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour, rolled oats, cinnamon and slivered almonds. Mix in butter with a fork or stand mixer until the topping is crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit.

Turn barbeque to high heat for about 10 minutes. Turn heat to medium high and turn off one side of grill. Place skillet on side without direct heat and cook for 40 to 45 minutes until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbly.

If using an oven, bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbly.