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Sour Cherry Crisp

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This delicious tangy sour cherry crisp is a fantastic dessert recipe. It's not overly sweet but highlights the natural sweet and sour flavors of the sour cherries.

Sour cherries are a wonderful summer fruit, that's only available for a short time. Most people find them a little too sour to eat on their own, but they are great in baked goods and desserts.

This fruit crisp recipe has a little sweetener (brown sugar) in the cherry filling to offset excessive tartness, but it doesn't overwhelm the natural flavors of the cherries.

Sour cherry crisp being spooned out of a pie plate.

Why You Should Make this Recipe

Sour cherries have an awesome sweet and sour flavor that's perfect in baked goods and desserts.

Making them into a crisp is my favorite way to enjoy sour cherries! I hope it will be one of your favorite desserts.

Fresh sour cherries are in season in June and July (unlike sweet cherries which are available from May to August), making them special. Sour cherries freeze well though, so you can make this easy recipe any time of the year if you use frozen cherries.

Be sure to check out all our healthy dessert ideas if you like this great recipe!

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Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to make a sour cherry crisp recipe.

Oats, brown sugar, walnuts, butter, flour, cinnamon, and sour cherries.
  • 1 pound pitted sour cherries (fresh tart cherries)
  • 5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter, diced into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

*You can use frozen or fresh cherries. If you use frozen, bake the crisp for 50 minutes. Sour cherries are not usually available at the grocery store, you'll likely have a better chance of finding them at a farmer's market or farm stand.

If you'd like to print this list with the instructions, see the recipe card below.

Instructions

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the pitted cherries, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the water and stir to combine again. 

A bowl of sour cherries being mixed with flour, water, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

Add the cherry mixture to an 8x8 inch (2 quarts) baking dish or pie plate. You could also use a cast iron skillet.

Combine the oats, butter, and walnuts in a medium bowl to make a crumbly topping. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to combine the mixture till it is crumbly.

Sprinkle the crumble topping over the fruit. 

A sour cherry crumble before going into the oven.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the crumble topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. 

Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack before serving. 

Serve with optional whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Hint: If your crisp topping isn't browning, but the crumble has been in the oven for 50 minutes, turn the broiler on for 1 minute.

A sour cherry crumble after being baked.
A bowl of sour cherry crisp next to a napkin and a pie plate of crisp.

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Substitutions

If you'd like to make some substitutions here are my suggestions.

  • Flour - instead of all-purpose flour, you can use almond flour.
  • Brown Sugar - use honey, agave, or coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.
  • Walnuts - the walnuts can be substituted for any other type of nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, or pecans.

Equipment

If you're using fresh cherries, you may want to get a good cherry pitter. I've used this one before and liked it.

If you'd like to use any of the mixing bowls pictured above, here is the set of glass ones and this is the metal OXO one. This is one of my favorite pastry cutters - it's helpful for making the crisp topping.

Finally, here's the Emile Henry pie dish pictured above.

Storage

You can store the baked crisp in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container. I suggest reheating it in the oven as the crisp topping will get soggy in the microwave.

You can freeze the crisp both before and after baking. If you are freezing it in the dish you are baking it in, allow it to come to room temperature before putting it in the oven. Glassware and ceramic dishes can crack if they go from freezing to a hot oven.

Yield: 6 servings

Sour Cherry Crisp

Sour cherry crisp in a white pie plate, topped with dollops of whipped cream.

This tangy and delicious sour cherry crisp is a fantastic dessert recipe.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pitted sour cherries*
  • 5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons butter, diced into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. Combine the sour cherries, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Add the water and stir to combine again. 
  3. Add the mixture to an 8x8 inch (2 quarts) baking dish or pie dish.
  4. Combine the oats, butter, and walnuts in a bowl. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to combine the mixture till it is crumbly.
  5. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the fruit. 
  6. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the crumble topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. 
  7. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. 
  8. Serve with optional whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Notes

*You can use frozen or fresh sour cherries. If you are using frozen, the bake time will be closer to 50 minutes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 262Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 58mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 4g

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