Sometimes (often!), easier is better when it comes to cooking and baking. Such was the case when I finally decided to pull the frozen cherries out of the freezer.
At first, I thought I’d make a pie, since I’m a pie lover and couldn’t seem to find other cherry recipes that inspired me. Clafouti, which is easy enough, just doesn’t grab me. If I’m going to do a fruit dessert, I want the fruit to be the focus.
Then I remembered the Fruit Cobblers in my cookbook, Recipes Worth Sharing. The recipe there is based on that of the late Judy Baird, who liked her recipes because they came from family and friends with “a memory attached.” By some definitions, at least, her recipe, which provides instructions for one topping and various fillings, is probably a crisp or crumble, rather than a cobbler, which typically has a biscuit-like topping.
No matter, they’re all good, and they’re all faster than making pie dough. Here’s the cherry version, based on Judy’s.
- 4 cups tart cherries, pitted
- 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- In a bowl, combine cherries, 1/2 cup sugar, corn starch and almond extract. Stir until well-blended.
- Using a fork or pastry blender, combine flour, 1 cup sugar, salt, egg and butter until crumbly.
- Transfer cherry mixture to buttered 7 1/2- by 11 3/4–inch baking dish (or 9-inch square). Distribute flour mixture over the top.
- Bake in 350-degree oven for 45 minutes, or until fruit is tender and topping is lightly browned.
Notes: My cherries went straight from the freezer into this dish, which I suspect is why it took about 55 minutes rather than 45 minutes to get done.
The results: sweet-tart, with a nicely crispy top. Yum.
My freezer is now officially emptied of its summer’s bounty. This year, I intend to freeze more, so I can feast on the bounty next winter, rather than parceling it out as stingily as I did this winter. My freezer—and I—are definitely ready for spring.