Sweet, juicy, in-season cherries topped with a crunchy almond crumble. A very easy dessert that can be frozen or made with frozen fruit, and is very versatile when it comes to how much sweetness you want and what fruit/topping ratio you prefer. I posted both the traditional and gluten-free versions.
Originally posted in 2013, this post has been updated with photos, text, and a variation of the recipe to serve you better.
Me and cherries, we've had a torrid love affair for decades, a very unbalanced one I might add, since I'm eagerly waiting for them to appear and they do so for such a short time!
But, I take immense advantage of those weeks and eat as many as I can fresh, directly from the refrigerator, as they are much better when they are very cold.
Then, I start making desserts. This cherry crumble is one of my top choices together with this fantastic Cherry Tart.
About crisps and crumbles
Now, aren’t they one of the best desserts ever? A layer of juicy fruit and a crunchy, buttery topping.
They take little time to prepare, almost any fruit can be used, no need for baking or knife skills, rustic is what we should aim for, and are meant to be eaten directly from the pan. Perfection really.
Though both names are many times used interchangeably, a crisp includes oats in the topping and a crumble doesn't. That extra ingredient makes for a crisper topping. My experience is that you can achieve a super crunchy topping without oats, by decreasing the amount of flour. But that's for another conversation.
I always have frozen cherries (pitted of course!) and crumble in the freezer. That way I can have a fantastic cherry crisp in the table in 40 minutes. How's that for convenience?
Vintage Kitchen Tip
- Cherries - they can be fresh or frozen. Just make sure they are pitted.
- Almonds - sliced will give it an amazing texture. But you can use chopped almonds if that's all you have. Don't refrain from making this dessert just because you don't have sliced almonds.
- Butter - the better the butter the better the flavor of this dessert. It's as simple as that.
- Flour - almost any type works with this recipe. I normally use all-purpose but also cake flour if that's all I have.
- There's not much work here, and you only need a medium bowl (image 1). If you're planning on freezing the crumble, you might consider mixing it in the container that will go to the freezer; one less item to wash.
- It's important that the butter be cold when you mix it into the rest of the ingredients (image 2), so that you have a clumpy mixture.
- Sliced almonds, they are added last because we don't want to break them up too much. Lightly mix them into the rest of the ingredients (images 3, 4).
Preparing the cherries
Fresh cherries are easy to work with if you have a cherry pitter (I listed my favorite brand in the recipe card's Notes).
It's essential that the stones are removed, otherwise eating this dessert ends up being a pain as you have to spit out every cherry pit.
I like to cut them in half (image above), but you can chop them in thirds or fourths. Be careful not to chop them too small as they will get lost with the crumble when you eat them.
Like any type of diet or cooking technique, it’s not hard once you understand what works and what ingredients are available. It turns out that the amount of different gluten-free flours available is mind-blowing.
My favorite way: substitute quinoa flour for the all-purpose and almond flour for the oats.
Other alternatives are packaged gluten-free flour, buckwheat flour, or amaranth flour.
Hands down, the best way is barely warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Or use some lightly sweetened whipped cream. Either way, you'll love it!
Room temperature is my second choice and I don't recommend eating it cold from the refrigerator. It's not bad, but you'll miss the juicy flavor of the cherries with the crunchy topping.
Other recipes you might like:
Cherry Caipiroska - a vodka cocktail
Complete Guide to No-Bake Cheesecake
Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream with Cherry Sauce
Brown Sugar Strawberry Crisp
Old Fashioned Apple Blackberry Crisp
Chocolate Apple Crisp
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Sweet, juicy, in-season cherries topped with a crunchy almond crumble. A very easy dessert that can be frozen or made with frozen fruit, and is very versatile when it comes to how much sweetness you want and what fruit/topping ratio you prefer.
For making a family-style cherry crisp, see Notes below.
For the cherries:
- 2 cups pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- Juice of ½ lemon
For the crumble:
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour, see Notes below for gluten-free and other variations
- ¼ cup regular oats, omit if making a gluten-free version
- ¼ cup (50g) light brown sugar
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup (60g) butter, cold and in pieces
- Ice cream or whipped cream, optional for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF /180ºC.
- Butter two oval, shallow ramekins.
For the cherries:
- Cut pitted cherries in half and divide among ramekins.
- Drizzle with lemon juice and sugar, diving equally.
For the crumble:
- In a bowl mix flour, oats, and sugar. Or gluten-free variation.
- Add butter in small pieces and with your hands or a fork, work it until the butter is mixed with the dry ingredients. It will be lumpy.
- Add the almonds and mix lightly. You don't want to break up the almonds too much.
- Divide equally over the cherries.
- You can do this crumble in a food processor with the steel blade, but the resulting mixture will be finer.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is lightly golden and the filling is bubbly.
- Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
- Store, covered, in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze for up to a month.
Gluten-free: my favorite way: substitute quinoa flour for the all-purpose and almond flour for the oats. Other alternatives are packaged gluten-free flour, buckwheat flour, or amaranth flour.
Make-ahead: you can have the pitted, halved cherries and the crumble in the freezer, in separate containers for up to a month.
Cherry pitters: this is a handy gadget and much needed if you bake with fresh cherries. You can buy them online OXO Good Grips Cherry Pitter
Family-style: if you want to serve more people, double or triple this recipe and use ceramic dishes that can go directly to the table. I like this White rectangular Baking Dish, Staub rectangular Baking Dishes, or round Faberware Ceramic Pie Dish.
Keywords: cherry crisp, cherry crumble