Saturday, February 15, 2014

We interrupt our previously scheduled post for: Cherry Almond Crisp

Yep, half way through my next Lemonade/California post and I decide that we need dessert for Valentine's Day, I make something with what I have on hand and it turns out to be outrageously good.  So, we'll take a detour because we do that all the time.

Greg did take me to Petit Chou for their Valentine's weekend dinner on Thursday.  It was sweet and quiet there on a cold Thursday night.  It was also delicious.  So I cooked dinner Friday night after another nice ski around the hood after a (surprise) 5-plus inches of snow fell while I was at work.  Roasted asparagus with blood orange creme balsamic vinegar (splurge from Whole Foods that was totally worth it).  Chicken piccata deglazed with a yummy Chardonnay and brightened with lots of lemon and capers.  Salad, the basic kind.  And then cherry almond crisp.

Costco sells a really terrific big bag of frozen cherries with tart and sweet whole cherries that are perfect in my morning yogurt or muesli.  I've had my eye on that bag for a dessert too.  Almonds and cherries pair perfectly so I thought I'd go all nutty and use almond meal instead of flour in the crisp topping.  Bingo!  Ha, that was an unintentional pun.  Delicious.  One note, I do not have almond extract but I do have almond emulsion from King Arthur Flour.  It's thicker, but I'm pretty sure the pure extract would work just the same.

It's Presidents' Day this coming week so make a cherry dessert in honor of our first president.


Cherry Almond Crisp

4 C frozen cherries (tart or mixed)
1/2 C sugar
2 T cornstarch
1 tsp almond emulsion/extract

1/2 C old fashioned oats
1/2 C almond meal/almond flour
1/2 C loosely measured light brown sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated is nice)
4 T unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.  I used an 8x8x2 dish but any shape or size in the 2 quart range would work.

In a medium bowl, toss frozen cherries (do not thaw) with sugar, cornstarch and almond emulsion/extract.  Pour cherries into prepared baking dish.
In a separate bowl, stir together oats, almond meal, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Cut in the unsalted butter using a pastry blender, two forks or work it through with your fingers until some big crumbs form.  Distribute evenly over cherries.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes until hot and bubbly.  Loosely cover with foil if getting too brown.  Eat warm with vanilla ice cream, yogurt of whipped cream.

Serves 4-6

I'll make it again and take photos along the way.   Need to get the whole light box thing working to improve your viewing.

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