I am an institutional cook by nature…by trade…and profession I suppose. Growing up in a big family I never quite figured out how to make small amounts of anything. Seems to work out perfectly, especially for my friends and neighbors. Making this crisp easily became a dessert for sharing.
Over the weekend, we were sitting around pondering on what to have for lunch. We decided to make stuffed muenster burgers and homemade ice cream. In the midst of it all I remembered I promised a friend I’d make a cherry cobbler, crisp or crumble. Something, anything with cherries he said. I thought a crunchy topping of granola on a pan of sweet black cherries would close out the weekend beautifully. Truth be told I’d find any reason to bring out my dutch oven.
Whether I’m frying chicken or braising oxtails it is the perfect tool for everything. I think this is a Martha Stewart one that’s withstood the test of time. Opened up a #10 can of sweet pitted cherries, ready to go.
It may seem like a lot, but it really isn’t. I can either get four skimpy pies or 2 bountiful ones. We went for the latter. I used my deep dish pie plates that are reserved for Caramel Dutch Apple Pie(I’ll throw that up later). I want to say they’re Pyrex I may be wrong. Nah, definitely ceramic Pyrex…right?!
Nevertheless, they cook beautifully. Ceramic holds that heat and all the good stuff bubbles up and sing such pretty songs.
Now I always…always have some kind of granola, trail mix or something hanging around.
That goes back to… I always make too much of something, so there’s always some around. This time I had a candied pecan trail mix I made for a plane ride earlier in the week. In this mix their were cranberries too. I thought man that would definitely have a tart bite to it. Perfect for the crisp topping to counter the sweet, right?!
Now usually I use softened butter but I went for the melted. It gives a more crisp as opposed to the crumble. Now people may ask, “what’s the difference”? One has more of a coffee cake crumble consistency and the other is more like a thin crispy granola bar. It can make for a better base if you so choose to use one. For this crisp I did. I got my cherries ready to go on the stove. Feel free to add and play with this. You can’t go wrong. I’ve added cayenne, rum, apple pucker(I know) and other crazy things but it always comes out delicious.
Takes a little bit to get it thickened. I didn’t add a thickening agent, but you absolutely can. I went for whatever I had in the kitchen. This time just sugar(s)got this good glaze. I reserved some of the juice(syrup) for cocktails, dessert toppings and for tea. It’s a cheap and expensive hack, ya know.
Here’s my cocktail…my fave Canada Dry & whatever else. Today is cherries and I must say, YUMMERZ!!
I love making these crumbles & crisps because they’re so satisfyingly easy to make and everybody gets excited when they come out of the oven bubbling and smelling like, well it depends on what you added…maybe pucker?!
Granola Cherry Crisp
My Take…you can half this
- Pre-heat oven to 375
- Good pot…dutch oven
- 2 deep pie plates
- A #10 can(12cups) of pitted cherries(drained and rinsed)the sugar will extract the juices.
- Cup of brown sugar & a cup of white sugar(you can add cornstach to the sugar about 1/4 cup)
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 1tsp of vanilla
Put all ingredients in the pot until thickened. Play some music while you make the crisp.
- 4cups of oatmeal
- pinch of salt
- 1cup brown sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1lb of melted butter(not margarine)
Nuts are optional I say go for it. If you do add it to your oat mix. Mix all the crisp ingredients…1-5. Taste and season or add accordingly. Pull your cherry mixture off the stove and let it cool. Load up the pie plates. Now the base(crust)is totally optional. Thing is it isn’t a pie so it’s not necessary. I added it because in my history of making it, the people crave more granola, or ‘crisp’. Play around with it. More flour, more crumble. More oats, more crisp…