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White individual dish with cherry crisp, silver spoon and melted ice cream, rustic background

Easy Cherry Crisp (or crumble)

Sweet, juicy cherries topped with a crunchy almond crumble. A straightforward dessert that can be made with fresh or frozen fruit or canned cherry pie filling. It's versatile regarding how much sweetness you want and what fruit/topping ratio you prefer. Make it in individual servings or family style. 

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

Units

For the cherries:

  • 4 cups pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract or vanilla extract (optional)

For the crumble:

See Notes below for gluten-free options and other variations

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup regular oats
  • 1/2 cup (50g) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup (115g) butter, cold and in pieces
  • Ice cream or whipped cream, optional for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF /180ºC.
  2. Butter four oval, shallow ramekins. Or an 8-inch baking dish if making a family-style dessert. 

For the cherries:

  1. Cut pitted cherries in half and divide them among ramekins.
  2. Drizzle with lemon juice, sugar, and extract if using, diving equally. Set aside while making the crumble topping.

For the crumble:

  1. In a bowl mix flour, oats, sugar, and cinnamon if using. Or gluten-free variation.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the almonds and mix lightly. You don't want to break up the almonds too much. You can make the crumble in a food processor with the steel blade, but the resulting mixture will be finer.
  4. Divide the oat mixture equally over the cherries.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the top is lightly golden and the filling is bubbly. If baking it in a large dish might take 10 more minutes. 
  6. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
  7. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze for up to a month.

Notes

Organization: read the recipe first and make sure you have ingredients at the right temperatures, equipment needed, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier!

Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. Use a thermometer inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that the temperature is right. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 

Gluten-free option:
My favorite flours: I like to substitute quinoa flour for the all-purpose and almond flour for the oats, or use gluten-free oats like Quaker's. Other alternatives: packaged gluten-free flour mixes, buckwheat flour, or amaranth flour

Variations: substitute some almond flour for the sliced almonds, use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, or use some of the more rustic gluten-free flour above together with regular flour. It will make this a more earthy dessert. 

Make-ahead: you can have the pitted, halved cherries and the crumble in the freezer, in separate containers for up to a month.

Cherry pitter: 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.

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4
  • Calories: 603
  • Sugar: 47.4 g
  • Sodium: 12.6 mg
  • Fat: 33 g
  • Carbohydrates: 74.2 g
  • Fiber: 6.6 g
  • Protein: 8.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 61 mg

Keywords: cherry crisp