Cherry Streusel Pecan Crisp
My first job besides babysitting, barely out of elementary school, was in a cherry orchard picking fruit from trees and filling woven baskets. We were paid by how many cherries we picked–it took a lot of work to fill one basket. There were several young kids like me who worked there as well as professional cherry pickers who filled their baskets faster than I could imagine. I still have major respect for those hard workers.
I love the juicy, sweet taste of freshly picked cherries and have an added appreciation because of hot summer days in the orchard in my youth. Conveniently, I can shop at the local grocery store instead of picking off one cherry at a time. To make this dessert, I used a lot of cherries, a little more than 4 cups. You could also decrease the quantity to 3 cups of pitted cherries. I used a Pampered Chef cherry pitter to remove the pits.
Butter the bottom and sides of a small baking dish, then spread the cherries evenly inside the pan. (My pan for this dish is 6.5 inches by 9.5 inches.) You’ll make a thick biscuit-like consistency dough to spoon on top of the cherries first.
After mixing softened butter with sugar, eggs and more, you’ll add the flour and baking soda mixture, pictured above, to get a thick dough to scoop on top of the cherries.
I use a medium sized stainless steel scoop to evenly distribute the dough.
With a spoon, spread the dough evenly to cover the cherries. Doesn’t this kind of resemble mashed potatoes?
The streusel topping with additional butter can be mixed together with a pastry blender or fork, simply mix it all well until crumbly.
Bake pecans (or almonds or what ever nuts you prefer) for about 8 minutes at 350 F. (To allow time for cooling, this step should be done earlier.)
Mix in the toasted pecans with the cold streusel mixture.
Spread the mixture over top of the dough layer, then bake for about an hour at 350 F.
If you use fewer cherries, you may only need to bake the crisp for 45 minutes.
Let the crisp cool briefly, then serve. It would be even better with a scoop of ice cream. Enjoy!
- Wash and remove pits from about 4-1/2 cups cherries.
- Butter the sides and bottom of a small baking pan with your hands.
- Fill the baking pan with cherries.
- Make dough in stand mixer with 1/2 cup (softened) butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 cup flour, 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder.
- Drop scoops of dough over top of cherries, then spread evenly.
- Make streusel in bowl by mixing together 2 tablespoons (cold) butter, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Add 2/3 cup roasted pecans.
- Spread streusel topping over dough layer, then bake at 350 F for about 1 hour.
Thank you to Tiffany at www.peanutblossom.com for the recipe inspiration.