When I was in Portugal a couple years ago, I bought this sweet cherry liqueur from a tiny little town named Óbidos. It’s a famous local specialty, and after I tasted a little sample, I decided it definitely merited some space in my suitcase! The other day I noticed the poor little bottle of cherry liqueur, unopened and hidden behind my more used liqueurs, Brandy, Rum, Frangelico, etc, and decided I needed to do something with it. Cherry crisp time! And ohhhhhhh man. Who can resist a hot bubbling cherry crisp? Or rather any fruit crisp?!? I don’t know anybody. And the best part about this easy and tasty crisp is there is very little prep work. You buy the cherries frozen (they are much cheaper than fresh), and you don’t have to pit them…thank GOODNESS. I pitted fresh cherries once…one by one…and let me tell you, that got old VERY quickly. Here’s how to make the crisps:
16 oz bag dark pitted sweet cherries, thawed
2 tbsp cherry liquer (My Portuguese Ginja may be hard to come by, so just use Kirsch which is a cherry brandy and available anywhere liqueur is sold)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp + 1 tsp flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
3 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/16th tsp nutmeg (just a tiny bit…nutmeg is strong)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the thawed cherries in a mixing bowl, and pour in the cherry liqueur.
Sprinkle in the sugar and 1 tsp of flour and stir it all together. The small amount of sugar macerates the cherries, bringing their juices out, while the flour will thicken up those juices, creating a cherry sauce. Let that all sit together while you prepare the crisp topping (but if you have an hour to spare, it will taste better if you leave it out for an hour and let the flavors meld).
In another mixing bowl, place the rolled oats, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, almonds, and 2 tbsp of flour in a bowl, and whisk to combine. Dice the butter into small cubes, and work the butter into the crisp mixture with your hands or with a pastry blender (you are “cutting” the butter…incorporating the cold butter into the flour almond oat mixture. I don’t understand why they call it “cutting” either).
Spoon the macerated cherries into 5 ramekins (I have 4 ounce ramekins, so it filled 5 of them, but use whatever size you like, or put it in one big baking dish). Add the crisp topping on top, and place the ramekins on a sheet pan so you don’t get bubbling cherry juices on the floor of your oven:
See that liquid that bubbled over? You don’t want to be scrubbing that off your oven floor…not fun. Bake for 30 minutes. Scoop a little bit of vanilla ice cream on top if desired, and enjoy while hot and bubbly.
I would love to hear any comments, questions, or suggestions below. Happy eating!