But besides being a summertime classic, cherries have a special place in my heart. When I lived in Davis my last year of law school, we had a cherry tree in our backyard. I would often take a break from bar studying to pick cherries off the tree or bake up a little cherry treat (usually pie). I have a not-so-secret ingredient when it comes to baking with cherries. Almond extract. Just a little dash. Enough to bring out the flavors of the cherries without tasting obviously almond-y. I do it for my cherry pies and I did it again with these crisps. Trust me on this one. And since I was using almond extract, I threw some almonds into the topping as well because, why not?
This recipe makes four individual servings but can easily be doubled and would be delicious served with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or just a cold glass of milk (my personal fave).
What You Need:
- 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/8 c. brown sugar
- 1/8 c. sugar
- 3 tbsp. butter + 1 tbsp. (reserved)
- 1/4 c. oats
- 1/8 to 1/4 c. slivered or sliced almonds (I used sliced)
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch or nutmeg
- 2 c. fresh cherries, pitted and halved (more or less, depending on how much filling you want)
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- couple pinches of corn starch
What You Do:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place four ramekins on a flat baking sheet. (If you don't have ramekins on hand, you can find them pretty easily at Target, Ikea, etc. I got a set of 4 from Bed Bath & Beyond for $8.)
2. Combine the cherries, almond extract, and corn starch in a medium-sized mixing bowl then set aside. The corn starch works as a thickening agent to soak up the juices while the cherries cook. If you don't have any on hand, you can use all-purpose flour as a substitute, just be sure there aren't any clumps when you mix everything together.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, almonds, and oats. Add in the 3 tbsp. of butter using either a fork or pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry mixture. You'll know it's ready when it starts to take on more of a crumble texture.
4. Divide the cherry filling equally among the four ramekins. Then divide the crisp topping equally. When filling the ramekins, you can go almost to the top but don't go all the way because the filling will bubble up as it cooks.
5. Cut the reserved tablespoon of butter into four equal pieces and place one on top of each cup of crisp. Place the baking sheet with the four ramekins in the center of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top turns golden brown. Serve them either warm or cold and enjoy!