Sour Cherry Crisp screams summertime to me. It’s tart cherries with a sweet topping, served warm with ice cream or whipped cream. It’s summertime fruit dessert perfection!
Sour Cherry Crisp
Aaaahh cherries! Aren’t they amazing fruit? Dark cherries, red cherries, multicolor cherries like Raniers, I have to say I love them all.
But they’re a little on the finicky side of where they like to grow. Here in central Alberta, we pretty much can only grow a tart or sour cherry.
There are a lot of different kinds of sour cherries to grow around here, and depending on the kind of cherry will depend on the sourness, but when you compare any variety of sour cherry to a sweeter cherry, the sours will always seem incredibly UNSWEET when eaten next to a sweeter cherry.
But within those sour cherries, there are degrees of sweetness, and while I won’t go into it here, it would be worth doing some research into the various types of sour cherries and their levels of sweetness if you were looking into growing your own.
Sweet Cherries VS Sour Cherries
Sour cherries, (also known as tart cherries or pie cherries) have fruit that is generally smaller than a sweet cherry and bright red in color. They’re sour to taste and hence are usually sold processed as frozen, dried, or canned cherries.
Sour cherries aren’t as popular because they are not as pleasant to eat raw when compared to sweet cherries. The sour taste is believed to be connected to the high antioxidant levels. They can, however, be utilized in delicious desserts by baking which is the interesting part.
And the bonus is, it’s not so difficult to prepare – all you need are a few other ingredients and a baking dish.
Cherries are generally high in fiber, carbohydrates, and important minerals and vitamins such as potassium, iron, vitamin C, and vitamin A, which means they are good for one’s health, bitter or sweet.
Sweet cherries are easily recognizable without having to taste first as they are larger, have more firm flesh, and are usually heart-shaped. They come in a variety of colors which range from Dark red to purple-black.
I have two beautiful varieties of sour cherries in my yard and they produced AMAZINGLY well this year. I discovered the longer you keep the cherries on the tree will result in a sweeter cherry that I actually enjoyed eating right off the stem.
As did MANY of the birds in my neighborhood…. GRRRRR!!
What Can You Make With Sour Cherries?
Oh my gosh,… I could go on and on with this one. Seriously. Ok, so a FEW ideas would be:
- Sour Cherry Pie Filling
- Sour Cherry Hand Pies!
- Tart Cherry jams/jellies
- Sour Cherry ice cream
- Sour Cherry cakes
- Tart Cherry pies!!!
- Sour Cherry Tarts
- Sour Cherry Muffins
How Are Cherries Pitted?
The whole fruit can have its pit removed in many ways. One could remove the pit by putting the cherry on a soda bottle top and using a chopstick or straw, piercing through the skin to the pit of the fruit and pushing it out the other side.
You could use a proper cherry pitter, or even simply cut them in half, and removing the pits will work if you don’t need the fruits intact.
I have a handy dandy cherry pitter that belonged to my Grandmother. It works super well and I’ve used it for a few years now. I think it’s vintage?!?
Sighhh… I love vintage 🙂
Can You Freeze Fresh Cherries?
Yes, it’s not a problem at all. I would, however, freeze them with the pits taken out because then it will be no hassle to use them when they’re thawed.
I would line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil and lay the pitted cherries out on the sheet, in a single layer. Freeze them right on the sheet and when they are frozen solid, collect them and store them in a freezer-safe container.
If you freeze them all together while they’re fresh, they may freeze in a huge clump and not be as nice to use when thawed.
What Goes Into A Sour Cherry Crisp?
Well, you know, the usual suspects that you would put into a fruit crisp. The fruit, of course, is essential and almost any fruit can be used in a crisp dessert. In fact, I have another fruit crisp using different fruits that you might want to check out. This Peach and Blueberry Crisp is DIVINE!
I used sour cherries in my dessert crisp today, but you may be wondering if you can use sweet cherries for your crisp. Well, absolutely, but that you may want to cut back on the amount of sugar included in the topping because the amount of sugar I used was based on using tart cherries.
Can I Use Canned Cherry Pie Filling For This Cherry Crisp Recipe?
Don’t worry, you can totally use them! Not everyone gets to live very close to a cherry tree, right?
The only change I would make is to add a bit of water to the canned cherry mix to thin it out a tiny bit, and again, I’d cut back on the amount of sugar used in the topping because pie filling could work out to be too sweet for this dessert as written.
By the way, if you are looking for a super duper easy recipe that uses canned cherries and your crockpot, check out this recipe for slow cooker chocolate cherry cake, or this recipe for a Cherry Chocolate Cake Hack!
If you were wondering about using dried cherries in this recipe, I would say yes, you could, however, I wouldn’t use it as the main fruit source. I would certainly add a handful (that have been soaked in some water or even fruity alcohol or something like that) to compliment another fruit you might use.
What Do I Serve With This Cherry Crisp Dessert?
You can serve it warm with scooped cherry or vanilla ice cream. (Ooooh, chocolate ice cream would be good too!!)
A dollop of freshly made whipped cream would be delicious (or even frozen whipped topping would be yummy as well)
I have served it a few times with just a drizzle of some heavy cream which is excellent!
But you know, serving it as is, is amazing. And by the way, serving it at room temperature is also an option.
Well, I hope that when you try this recipe, you’ll let me know what you think of it! Did you switch it up? Did you add different fruits? I’d love to hear about it!!
Thanks so much for stopping by The Salty Pot today, and I hope you have a fantastic day!
- 3-4 c sour/tart cherries, fresh, pitted
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1/3 c sugar
- 3/4c flour
- 1/2c oats
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 3/4c butter
- Preheat the oven to 375
- Combine the cherries, sugar, and flour into a bowl. Mix well.
- Transfer the berries to a baking dish
- in another bowl, combine the flour, oats, and brown sugar. Mix well.
- Add the butter and with two knives or your fingers, cut in the butter into the oat mixture so that it resembles small marbles.
- Sprinkle this topping over the cherries and bake for 30 - 40 minutes, or until the sides are bubbly and the topping is golden brown.
1 - when you remove the dessert from the oven, allow it to cool for 15 min before serving, as it will be VERY HOT.
2.- if you use sweet cherries for this recipe, cut back on the sugar for the topping, and I would omit adding sugar directly to the cherries as they will be sweet enough of their own.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 430Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 141mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 5gSugar: 47gProtein: 4g