July 30, 2012

love is the pits: simple cherry crumble

My family cares for people through food.  When someone visits my mom's house, she is not convinced that they're taken care of until they've got food and/or drink in front of them.  Food is how we show concern.  It's how we celebrate.  It's how we connect. 

So when I met and fell in love with my husband, it was crucial that I perfect his favorite foods because I wanted him to know how much I loved him.  On the top of the list: cherries.  He loves cherry desserts every which way: cherry pie, cherry cobbler, chocolate cherry cordials, cherries, cherries and cherries.  One thing that's a must for him is that the cherries appear in their most natural state.  I tend to agree.  Many cherry pie recipes include ingredients like cornstarch or tapioca to thicken the fruit filling, and I find it unnecessary and sometimes unappetizing.    

The first time I made my husband this cherry crumble, I also made him a deal.  If he washed, pitted, and chopped all the cherries, I'd make the crumble.  Cherries are not an easy fruit to deal with and I dreaded cutting away all those seeds by hand.  The pits are, well, the pits.

However, when we registered for our wedding, we found this little gadget and suddenly cherries weren't so daunting.  The OXO cherry pitter is still in frequent use in our kitchen, more than four years later.  In that time, I've gotten the cherry crumble recipe down to just five ingredients and I can whip one up in no time. 

no longer intimidating.


A note on the crumble: my mom's 'recipe' for the crumble mixture is basically to combine equal parts flour and sugar, then add the butter 'until it's right.' I've found success with these ratios, but you can certainly add more/less butter until the mixture is a consistency you're happy with. 

this is what 'until it's right' looks like.

Simple Cherry Crumble

Makes eight servings
Ingredients:
2 lbs fresh cherries – washed, pitted, stemmed and cut into thirds
juice of one lemon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 stick cold butter, cut into small cubes


Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare an 8” or 9” square baking dish with nonstick spray.

Mix cherries and lemon juice in large bowl; set aside.
Using a stand mixer*, combine flour and sugar in a large bowl.  Fit with paddle attachment and turn on lowest setting.  Add cubes of butter, a couple at a time, until butter is slowly incorporated and mixture resembles wet sand.  Take one tablespoon of mixture and blend completely into cherries.  Pour cherries into prepared pan.  Top with crumb mixture, using hands crush & sprinkle into pebble-sized crumbles.  Bake until cherries are bubbly and hot, about 45 minutes.  If desired, broil on low to brown the top.  Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.  Top with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

*This step can also be done by hand.  Incorporate butter cubes, a couple at a time, and crush with hands until sandy texture is achieved. 

the humble crumble.
This is a basic recipe that can certainly be adapted to feature different fruits.  Adding oats or nuts to the crumble would be delicious.  I find that fresh lemon juice - regardless of fruit variety used - is crucial to cut the sweetness of the crumble topping.

I had the opportunity to showcase the cherry crumble recipe - and one of my favorite gadgets - on Talk of the Town.  My lucky husband gets the leftovers from the demo. 



OXO is hosting a
Cherry Recipe Contest, and I'm entering this recipe.  The cherry pitter is something I purchased myself, and my testimony for the product is sincere. 

4 comments:

  1. thanks for the recipe. i've been wanting to do a crumble with peaches and will try this one :)

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  2. Chris's favorite fruit is the cherry, too. But fresh cherries get eaten whole and raw around here!

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  3. Very good explained recipe! Thanks for sharing it with us.

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  4. I love cherries, I love crumbles and i love love LOVE simple, so this is right up my alley. looks + sounds delicious!

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