August/September 2016

Cherry-Almond Crisp for Two

We wanted a quick, juicy fruit crisp for any day of the week, at any time of the year.

Why This Recipe Works

The best cherry crisps juxtapose the juiciness of tender cherries with a crisp, nutty brown-sugar crust. Unfortunately, many versions yield gloppy, too-sweet fillings and toppings that resemble packaged granola. And recipes made with fresh cherries—while superior in flavor—take twice as long to prep. To make a superior cherry crisp for two, we used dependable pantry (and freezer) staples and streamlined the process. After browning a topping of almonds, sugar, flour, and butter in a skillet on the stovetop, we used the same pan to cook the filling. To make our crisp an easy year-round option, we used a combination of frozen sweet cherries and dried cherries—they’re always in season and don’t require pitting. Sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla and almond extracts rounded out the flavors in the filling, and cornstarch thickened it to a syrupy—not gloppy—consistency.


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Serves 2


Print Shopping List


cup (1 2/3 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup sliced almonds


1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon cornstarch
10 ounces frozen sweet cherries
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
teaspoon salt
¼ cup dried cherries
Nutritional Information


Per Serving (Serves 2)

  • Calories 502
  • Cholesterol 30 mg
  • Fat 17 g
  • Sodium 303 mg
  • Saturated 7 g
  • Carbs 82 g
  • Trans 0 g
  • Dietary Fiber 4 g
  • Monounsaturated 6 g
  • Sugar 59 g
  • Polyunsaturated 2 g
  • Protein 5 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Serves 2

There’s no need to thaw the cherries. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

1. FOR THE TOPPING: Combine flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in bowl. Stir in melted butter until mixture resembles wet sand and no dry flour remains.

2. Toast almonds in 8-inch skillet over medium-low heat until just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add flour mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes; transfer to plate to cool. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels.

3. FOR THE FILLING: Combine 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar and cornstarch in small bowl; set aside. Combine sweet cherries, water, lemon juice, vanilla, almond extract, salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in now-empty skillet. Cook, covered, over medium heat until cherries thaw and release their juice and mixture starts to simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Stir in dried cherries and simmer, uncovered, until plumped and tender, about 2 minutes.

4. Stir in cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove skillet from heat and sprinkle topping evenly over filling. Return skillet to medium-low heat and cook until filling is bubbling around edges, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Ingredient Spotlight: Dried Cherries

Frozen sweet cherries are the backbone of our Cherry-Almond Crisp, providing mild sweetness and lots of juiciness. But to really punch up the cherry flavor, we add a handful of dried cherries to the mix. They offer a pleasant chewy texture, concentrated sweetness, and intense fruitiness.


Dried cherries deliver an intense pop of flavor to our crisp.

One Dessert, Two Sugars

The ingredient list for our crisp’s cherry filling calls for granulated sugar—its clean, unobtrusive sweetness bolsters the fruit while letting its flavor (augmented by lemon juice and vanilla and almond extracts) shine. The ingredient list for the topping, however, calls for a 50/50 mixture of granulated and brown sugars. Brown sugar is simply cane sugar with molasses added, which contributes flavor and moisture. In our topping, the brown sugar offers complexity and helps keep the topping from getting brittle.