I had a bag of cherries in the fridge that I had forgotten all about. They were just starting to get soft and wrinkly. My kids will only eat cherries when they are hard and crisp, so these were heading straight to the compost if I didn’t try to rescue them. I also had three bags in the freezer containing bits and pieces of various crumble toppings that I had made in surplus and frozen. This is a great way to store crumble toppings for a later use. I prefer to freeze them unbaked, so be sure to see my tips below for how to do that!
The leftover crumbles that were hiding in the freezer were a combination of this recipe and this recipe (really, anything will work). One bag had chopped pecans, another chopped pistachios. And the combination of the two nuts with the cherries is sublime, in case you’re wondering. I combined the various crumbles in a bowl, broke them up with my hands to incorporate them together and topped the pitted cherries, which I had spread into the bottom of a shallow enamel cast iron skillet. Here are my tips for baking with crumble toppings!
- To freeze unbaked crumble toppings, spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for a few hours or overnight. Break into pieces and place in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container.
- Keep the topping frozen until ready to bake. Toppings, similar to pie crusts, bake more evenly when the butter (or other fat that you’re using) is as cold as possible. Frozen is ideal.
- You can assemble the entire thing ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Just be sure it’s kept in the coldest part of your fridge!
- Crisps and crumbles are known for there rustic, craggy look, so don’t worry if your toppings isn’t perfect. Just break the frozen topping with your hands and scatter it on top of your fruit.
- If your frozen crumble was already baked, no problem. I suggest baking the fruit and adding the frozen crumble for the last 15-20 minutes of the baking process.
- Since there was sugar in the crumble toppings, I sweetened the cherries only with maple syrup.
- I like to serve this warmed up with a scoop of ice cream!
Summer Cherry Crisp
- 1 bag of fresh cherries, about 2 pounds, washed, pitted and stems discarded
- Crumble topping (see baker's notes above)
- Unsalted butter or vegan butter (I like Miyoko's Creamery vegan butter)
- Maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. instant granulated tapioca
- Amaretto liqueur, optional
- Step 1 Preheat your oven to 350 convection
- Step 2 Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 10″ or 11″ enameled cast iron skillet with softened butter
- Step 3 In a bowl, toss the cherries with a good glug of pure maple syrup and the tapioca granules. Mix well until the tapioca is no longer white.
- Step 4 Spoon into the skillet. Scatter a few pats of butter on top of the fruit.
- Step 5 Sprinkle the crumble topping all over the fruit. Add a few more pats of butter.
- Step 6 Bake for about 40 minutes or until the cherries are bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Allow to settle for about 30 minutes before serving.
- Step 7 Keep any leftovers in a container in the fridge.