Thursday, 15 July 2010

Chocolate Cherry Crisp

This year I felt the call to do something a bit different from my usual one and only sweet cherry dessert for cherry season, and after a bit of head-scratching I came up with this. (Yes I washed my hands before I got to work.)

I feel a bit bad tempting you with it though, as it turns out cherries are just about over. Already! - this is part of everything being so absurdly early this year. However, either run out and see if you can't find a few of the last cherries, or make a note and do this next year, because it's awfully good, if not quite as glamourous as something this intense and special should be. It's also extremely easy, especially if you eschew pitting. It makes quite a big crisp, and could be easily cut in half if you liked.

8 to 12 servings
1 hour 30 minutes - 30 minutes prep time, plus cooling time

Chocolate Cherry Crisp

Make the Topping:
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup soft whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix the oats, flour, cocoa, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into smallish pieces and rub it into the mixture until none of it looks dry and some of it forms coarse crumbs. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Make the Filling:
2 quarts ripe red cherries (Bing)
the finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
the juice of 1 large orange
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon minute tapioca
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Wash and de-stem the cherries. You may pit them if you like, but leaving them in speeds up the cooking process and slows down the eating process, which I regard as overall a good thing. If it is to be fed to small children though, it's probably wisest to pit them. At any rate, arrange them in the bottom of a large (9" x 13") lasagne pan.

Wash the orange and grate the rind of half of it over the cherries. Squeeze out the juice and pour it over the cherries. Sprinkle over the sugar, tapioca and almond extract. Give it all a gentle stir to be sure that everything is well blended.

Finish the Crisp:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spread the crumb topping evenly over the cherries. Bake the crisp for 50 to 60 minutes, until bubbly around the edges. Let cool for about an hour ideally; it's delightful when it's still a bit warm. However there's nothing wrong with it once it's cold either.

Last year at this time - and at many other times - I made Peas & Cabbage.


Emily said...

Wow, that does sound good. Maybe I'll make it with one of the jars of sour cherries I put up a few weeks ago. I imagine the rest of the sour cherries are gone.

Ferdzy said...

Depends where you are, Emily. There are still a few sour cherries available around here, but I don't really expect to see them after next weekend. Check your farmers market, you might get lucky.

Sarah-Lyn said...

Omigod, Fantastic!! Love cherry-chocolate combos in any form lol

good thing cherries are in season right now :)


Dallas said...

Mmmmmmmm....sounds very good. I'm now hoping that I am able to get some more cherries this weekend!

Joanne said...

I can't believe how early everything is either! I really liked it at first but now it's kind of sad!

This crisp sounds and looks fantastic. Love the chocolate twist.