Cherry Crisp

Cherries were the catch of the day yesterday at the Farmer’s Daughter farm stand. Arriving home, I hit my favorite recipe web sites, honing in on something easy and quick for my precious cherries. Pie crusts have never been an area of strength for me, so the focus of the search quickly moved to crisps and cobblers. Two recipes had promise, one at Epicurious.com and another at allrecipes.com. Looking more closely at the ingredient lists, I went with the Fresh Cherry Crisp at allrecipes.com simply because the shopping list would be shorter. This was to be a “let’s have a nice, simple dessert” kind of dish, not a “let me show you how I can take a simple ingredient and 5 hours of time to make something magnificent” kind of dish.

The recipe being decided and the few extra ingredients purchased, I took a good look at those beautiful cherries and suddenly realized, duh, they have pits! Do I have a cherry pitter? No, which explains why I don’t cook with cherries. Fortunately, my friends D & J have a nice assortment of gadgets they are willing to share. I specifically knew they had a cherry pitter because just last weekend they bought a full case of cherries, pitted them, and froze ’em for a rainy day. (Industrious friends, they are.)

Cherry pitter in hand, I got to work. D, my grown son, was over and found it quite interesting, and ended up pitting most of the cherries. From there, this recipe was easy as pie.

Fresh Cherry Crisp

INGREDIENTS

* 4 cups pitted sour cherries
* 1 1/2 cups white sugar
* 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
*
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup old-fashioned oats
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/2 cup shortening

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl 9 by 13 pan, combine cherries, 1 1/2 cups white sugar, and 4 tablespoons flour. Pour into 9×13 inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, oats, and brown sugar. Cut in butter and shortening until crumbly. Sprinkle over cherries.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.

The result? Beautiful! I enjoyed a sample lakeside after a dinner of BBQ ribs and corn. First bite was divine, second was crunchy, and then … yuck! I got a gob of that awful shortening in my mouth. Egads, what a terrible mouth feel! That being said, by simply swapping out the dreaded shortening for some more butter (Paula Deen would approve) I think this is a winner. Easy, tastey, and really shows off those beautiful cherries.

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