If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m fairly uncomplicated. My Mom even proclaimed me “least high-maintenance” out of the entire family at our last Sunday lunch. YES! I was so proud.
To me, life’s simple (ok, when it’s not.) Try to do the right thing, be kind, tolerant, and out-serve others.
Now, before you think I’m making myself out to be some sort of saint, I procrastinate way too much, am incredibly impatient, care what others think of me to a fault, and sweat profusely when nervous.
Anyways, I guess it’s due to my tendency to have a “black or white” outlook on a lot of things. Good, or bad. Happy, or sad. Right, or wrong. It just seems like so much time is wasted in “grey” areas. (Which is a total Type A thing to say, and why I can’t work in corporate America anymore. Hello hour long meetings over issues that could be resolved in one email!)
What does this have to do with Cherry Almond Crisp again?
Oh, right. If you’ve been reading IGE for any length of time, than you know my cooking style is very reflective of my personality. Uncomplicated. If I had room for a second tagline next to “Eat Well. Run Often. Travel Far.” it’d be – good tasting food doesn’t have to cost a lot, and can be easy to make too.
Which is exactly how I would describe Cherry Almond Crisp.
Sweet, in-season cherries are spiced with cinnamon and vanilla, then buried under a mountain of almond-spiked crisp and baked until golden brown. Just fresh fruit and pantry staples tossed together then baked. Uncomplicated and easy, yet foot-stompingly delicious. (You know, so good it makes you want to stomp your feet?)
See, cherries and almonds were made to meet in this crisp. While the sweet fruit softens to create a thick, syrupy sauce in the bottom of the baking dish, roughly chopped almonds in the crisp brown and toast from the heat of the oven on top. It is the perfect flavor combo.
Snag some fresh, in-season (read: inexpensive) cherries at the grocery store, then raid your pantry for the rest of your ingredients and make this ASAP!
Start the Cherry Almond Crisp with 1-1/2 pounds sweet cherries. I’ve been finding them for $1.99-$2.99/lb at Whole Foods recently!
Pit the cherries by hand (slice and pop like a peach) or with a cherry pitter, like this one that I stole from my Mom gave me. (Psst – it’s the same one I’ve giving away at the end of this post!)
Once all the cherries have been pitted, slice what’s left in half. I say “what’s left” because you would not believe how easy it is to plow throw pitted cherries before you even know what’s happening…
To the halved cherries, add 1 Tablespoon sugar, 2 teaspoons flour, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon then toss to combine.
Spoon the spiced cherries into a non-stick sprayed baking dish, then set it aside while you work on the crisp.
The best part of this crisp is that it adds roughly chopped almonds to the mixture of oats, sugar, flour, and butter for fantastic crunch. First combine 1/2 cup each old fashioned oats and brown sugar with 1/4 cup flour in a small bowl.
Add 1/4 cup roughly chopped almondsfollowed by 1/4 cup cold butter cut into cubes.
Finally, add the secret ingredient: 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. A little almond extract goes a long way, so you only need to add a tiny bit to get it’s sweet, totally unique flavor. (BTW I usually add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon almond extract to my sugar cookie dough. Try it sometime – you’ll have everyone asking you what’s in there!)
Incorporate the butter into the ingredients with your fingers until it’s pretty smooth, then spread the crisp on top of the cherries.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the crisp is golden brown. Then open a mason jar to capture the scent coming out of your kitchen to sniff at a later date. Unbelievable!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine cherries, sugar, flour, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Spray a 10.5×7″ or 8×8″ baking dish with non-stick spray then pour in the cherry mixture. In a separate bowl combine all the ingredients for the crisp. Smush with fingers until butter is well incorporated, then pour over cherry mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until crisp is deeply golden brown.
I mean, fruit, oats, sugar, butter, and almonds. So uncomplicated, yet so, so mouthwatering. Be sure to make this while cherries are in season, as the cherry/almond combo really is cah-razy good. Otherwise, frozen/thawed/drained berries, or apples will work with the crisp too.
Ok, ok, if you want to complicate things a wee bit, plant a scoop Tahitian Vanilla Gelato on top to melt over the warm crisp. Oh HECK yes!
Now – in order to make this crisp come together even faster for ya’, I’m giving away a free Cherry Pitter! Just place a cherry into the cradle, then press down and the pit will pop right out. Easy!
Enter to win this free cherry pitter by tomorrow, Wednesday, August 22 @ 5pm central, by telling me what your favorite fruit crisp is in the comments section of this post (not by email.)