Dessert, Recipes

Sweet Cherry Crumble for Two

Cherry Crumble

I’ve spent so much time lately putting up cherries, I haven’t actually been able to enjoy that many right now. Well, of course as I’m pitting bowls of them I need to quality check them. One out of every 10 cherries is pretty fair. Cherry season is a part of the summer I look forward to most but this year it’s been cut short. Extra curricular activities and weekend plans has allowed me to visit my favorite greenmarkets much less frequently than I would like. Here’s hoping there are still some left next weekend.

My crumble recipe came out of having too many cherries (a wonderful predicament). After pitting all my bing cherries, having plenty much for my canning recipes, I was left with just under two cups. Part of me wanted to eat them right then and there but it seemed like a waste. My hands bore the brunt of the pitting workout, stained deep burgundy. Only now, a whole week later do they look almost natural flesh-colored. And it’s not like I didn’t try to remove the stains–soap, sponges, steel wool, nail polish remover–if I had some paint thinner I probably would have tried that too. It’s a bit embarrassing to try to explain why it looks like you managed to hut all of your fingers with a hammer. So between the work and battle scars, I needed to put these cherries to some good use. Not enough for a pie, but perfectly portioned for individual or dual crumbles.

The recipe is simple and allows substitution for pretty much any fruit. Raspberries, blueberries, peaches or apricots. Plums are one of my favorite, though if you’re craving a plummy dessert I highly recommend Suzanne’s Spiced Plum Cobbler. The dessert is just fancy enough that it looks like you exerted a lot of effort, but simple enough to make at 10pm when you have a sweet craving. No summer is complete without a crumble.

Sweet Cherry Crumble for Two

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 c cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

In a small bowl combine sugar, flour, butter and a pinch of salt. Cut in butter with a pastry knife (or fingers) until mixture is resembles course crumbs. Refrigerate 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°F. In a small saucepan bring cherries, sugar and a splash of water to a boil. Mash fruit slightly with a potato masher or back of a wooden spoon. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes until fruit is soft. Remove a few tablespoons of liquid and mix in a small bowl with cornstarch. Add cornstarch mixture back into saucepan and cook a few minutes longer until syrup has thickened. Pour into a 16oz crock or divide into two 8oz ramkins. Sprinkle with crumble. Bake 15 minutes until fruit is bubbling and crumble is golden brown.

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8 thoughts on “Sweet Cherry Crumble for Two”

  1. I love simple recipes like this, crumbles are wonderful, go together in a flash, (except for the pitting of the cherries, but thats part and parcel) You end up with homey but elegant dessert. This is just beautiful.

    1. Thanks. I read a story (in one of my canning books I think) where the woman was talking about pit-less cherries. Not sure if they really exist or it was just a mean joke. Would be nice. Although the fact that you can really only buy seedless watermelon these days bothers me, so not sure if I’d like the option in the long run.

    2. Totally agree, the option would be great, pitting the cherries (don’t have a pitter) is painstaking. Worth it in the long run because they are wonderful but geez, when will they come out with the pitted variety.Have you ever taken a bite of cherry pie and bit into a pit, ugh… I lost a tooth that way.

    3. Ouch! I used the paper clip method / fingers this year but next year I’m getting a pitter. Hopefully it will speed things up and not stain my fingers as bad.

  2. Mel, this is such a gorgeous recipe. I adore cherries but I’ve (sadly!) never been in a position where I’ve had enough to make a gorgeous cherry crumble. They tend to be quite expensive here in Australia. At present, we’ve got imported American cherries on the shelves (haha, they flew all the way from you guys to us… they get a little bit mushy and then they get sold for three times the price!) so I’m sticking to Australian-grown apples and frozen berries in my crumbles. Cannot wait to make this in Summer though! Beautiful in every way! xx

    1. Thanks Laura. I know what you mean about the overpriced cherries. They’re still not cheap here in season but out of season, when they’re coming from halfway around the world they’re crazy expensive and not nearly as good. There are a few things I won’t touch out of season. Cherries, asparagus and peaches. They’ll never compete with the fresh picked local variety so why try.

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