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Author Notes: In an attempt to win the battle of the cherry trees, I am putting up as much of the fruit as I can as fast as I can. Last year, the birds were the decisive victors, arriving like the Blitzkrieg while I was at work and decimating the crop. I cried. A lot. This year, we are going with the net approach combined with a frequent harvesting technique. Although the birds still manage to peck through, fly under and shake off a good chunk of the berries I am willing to accept a stalemate in the name of supporting the ecosystem. As long as I get enough to make cherry filling to sit in little jars, like crimson jewels, in the basement waiting to brighten up a dreary February pound cake. Or crumble. —Niknud
cup brown sugar
teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 to 1
tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
cup pecan pieces (optional but recommended)
good quality bittersweet chocolate in 1/2 oz pieces
cherry filling (recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, stir together the first 6 ingredients until well combined. Cut in the chilled butter until the crumble is the consistency of slightly damp sand (fingers are fine here). Stir in the pecan pieces if using.
- Place one of the pieces of chocolate in the bottom of a small oven-proof container (like a ramekin or custard bowl). Cover with cherry filling and top with the crumble mixture. If you so desire, you may sprinkle a bit more brown sugar and a teeny pinch of salt. Repeat until all your ramekins are filled. Bake for 20-30 minutes on a baking tray or until the delicious cherry filling starts to bubble up through the topping. Cool and enjoy.
- Note: the proper filling-to-topping ratio has never adequately been established in existing literature. Traditionalists typically go with a 2/3 to 1/3 filling-topping breakdown or less. Being a non-apologetic crumble enthusiast, I am more likely to go with a half and half approach. But I have been know to be a rabble-rouser and a bit of a subversive. Let your conscience be your guide.
pounds cherries (uh, pitted)
cup fresh lemon juice
- Heat cherries and water in a wide saute pan until boiling. Add lemon juice and sugar and boil gently, stirring and mooshing the cherries until the mixture thickens a bit (about 25-30 minutes). Cool slightly.
- Whatever leftovers you have after making your crumbles should be used in the following: added to the bottom of a gin and tonic, poured over a brownie, poured over ice cream, mixed with seltzer and lime juice for a cherry-lime rickey.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Buckle, Slump, Grunt, Crumble, Cobbler, Crisp, Sonker, Pandowdy, and/or Betty