I have always loved fruit pies in the summer. Not the Crisco-laden double-crusted ones that my friends’ mothers always used to make, but rather buttery single-crust pies filled with peaches, blueberries, or whatever fruit was in season at the moment.

My mother always made murbeteig crusts, which she learned from my aunt from Bavaria and from Lizzie Black Kander’s Settlement Cookbook, one of the first and most popular German Jewish cookbooks in America. Called sablé in France and crostata in Italy, these crusts, found in so many handwritten and published Jewish cookbooks of the prewar period, are always delicious, but sometimes the fruit makes the crust soggy. My son David, who does private catering when he is not acting, suggested that I flip the fruit and the crust.

In this red, white, and blue berry crisp that I have created for this Fourth of July, the buttery dough sits on top of the fruit, so it won’t get soggy. The less you use your fingers when making the dough, the more it will crisp up.


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