Father's Day

Montmorency Cherry-Almond Crumble

July 12, 2013
0 Ratings
Photo by creamtea
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • serves 6-8
Author Notes

Sossie Beile's Little Cherry Crumb Bars, beloved of family members around the globe, was the springboard for this recipe.
My grandmother, the eponymous Sossie Beile, did not live to see my mother reach adulthood, but we honor her memory when we make this treat, which my mother re-created from childhood memories. I adjusted the ingredients for a moister crumb and a light, crispy topping. For a filling starring fresh cherries, a summer delicacy, I found a recipe from Gourmet from 2001 for sour-cherry preserves. I added cornstarch in place of pectin. Sour cherries and almonds go together like kissing cousins, so I topped this "Cherry Crumb Cake," as we call it, with a handful for crunch and flavor.

Note that the cherries rest in the sugar and cornstarch mixture several hours ahead or overnight, to draw out the juices, so plan accordingly. —creamtea

What You'll Need
  • For the filling
  • 2 pints tart cherries, such as Montmorency
  • 1 to 1-1/4 cups organic sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed, strained lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon good-quality almond extract
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • For the crumble
  • safflower oil for greasing the pan
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed. Chilled solid coconut oil can be used as an alternative for a non-dairy version(chill packed measuring cups in refrigerator briefly if oil is melting)
  • 1 large egg + 1 yolk, beaten
  • 1/4-1/3 cups blanched toasted & sliced almonds for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon (scant) sugar for garnish
  1. For the filling
  2. The day before baking, wash, drain, pat dry and pit cherries.Toss with smaller amount of sugar and lemon juice, taste for sweetness and add additional 1/4 cup sugar if desired, then cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
  3. On baking day, scrape cherry mixture into a 2-3 quart heavy-bottomed saucepan. (there will still be some undissolved sugar at the bottom of the container--scrape it in too). Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Cherries should be tender and darker in color. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the crumble.
  1. For the crumble
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350º Grease 9" deep dish ceramic or Pyrex pie plate or 9" square ovenproof pan.
  3. Whisk dry ingredients together until well blended, crumbling brown sugar into mixture. Toss again to evenly distribute.
  4. Rub in cold butter or solid coconut oil, breaking up and tossing with fingers until pieces the size of small peas remain. Drizzle in egg. Toss with fork until combined.
  5. Take slightly more than 1/2 of mixture and pat lightly into bottom of pyrex or ceramic deep-dish pie pan. You don't want it stodgy, just packed enough to make a bottom layer that holds together.
  6. Scrape cherry filling into pan to cover bottom crumb crust, distributing with a rubber scraper or wooden spoon if necessary.
  7. Top with remaining crumbs to mostly cover the filling. Do not press down this time, just distribute evenly. Scatter sliced almonds over, then sprinkle with sugar.
  8. Bake in middle of oven 35-45 minutes, until golden and the filling is bubbling. Remove from oven, set aside to cool. Cut in wedges and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • sdebrango
  • Lizthechef
  • dymnyno
  • creamtea

6 Reviews

sdebrango July 17, 2021
Your cherry crumb bars are delicious, this sounds so good. A delicious way to use cherries. Agree about the combination of cherries and almonds!
creamtea July 18, 2021
Thanks, Suzanne! So glad you liked the cherry crumb bars! They are a homey favorite! Hope you try this variant.
Lizthechef July 14, 2013
No sour cherries here in San Diego - envious and agree with dymnyno - cherries and almonds, a perfect combo.
creamtea July 14, 2013
They are good together, aren't they? I wonder if Whole Foods has frozen sour cherries; I'll have to remember top look next time I'm there!
dymnyno July 14, 2013
Sounds delicious! Cherries and almonds are one of my favorite combinations.
creamtea July 14, 2013
Mine, too, obviously, and they're such a treat (I often don't get a chance to cook with them; I usually just end up eating them plain out of the box).