Sometimes I get obsessed with things.
Sometimes that’s just obsessed with eating something. Sometimes it’s creating something that I can’t find. Other times it’s finding the perfect version—which may mean making it a TON of times. Homemade pad thai. Black bean brownies. Dreamy scones.
This is one of those things. I love fruit crisp, but sometimes it’s not worth the effort to make a whole pan (plus, then I eat the whole pan, which…).
I first got the idea when I made a sweet dark cherry pie for Thanksgiving last year. I’d never really worked with cherries before, always sticking instead to apples, pears, and peaches. I kind of winged it (wung it?) and made up the recipe after reading a few different ones, and it turned out great. And then one night recently I was jonesin’ for something sweet, and the idea of fruit crisp hit me (I wasn’t in the mood for chocolate for some reason). All I really had, though, was a bag of frozen cherries for smoothies. I decided to give it a go, and made two—one in the oven and one in the microwave. Shockingly, I liked the microwave version and it took WAY less time.
Since then I’ve made it several more times because I couldn’t quite get the flavors exactly like I wanted. This is a pretty fluid and forgiving recipe. You can add a little honey or sugar to the filling if you feel it needs it (or are using tart cherries), but mine is plenty sweet. Also, you could make it gluten-free by using a flour alternative like oat flour, coconut flour, almond meal, etc. I tried a few different spice combinations in the filling and topping (cardamom, ginger, etc.), but ultimately found that simpler was better—cinnamon and some almond extract.
Thaw the cherries (I used the microwave), and gently chop them up into halves or quarters if they’re giant (like mine were). They should create quite a bit of juice (if they don’t, supplement with a little water). If you’re using fresh cherries, you’ll need to macerate them a little more to get some juice, and probably add a little water or apple juice as well.
Add the cornstarch and almond extract and stir in. Stir the cinnamon in as well, and maybe a dash of ginger if you feel like it.
Pour the mixture into your ramekin. Note, the recipe below is only for one ramekin, but can be easily doubled.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pour in the melted coconut oil and use a fork to roughly combine the ingredients—you’ll end up with a crumbly, damp mixture.
Sprinkle the topping over the cherries, trying to cover everything.
Cook in the microwave for 90-120 seconds, until the cherry mixture is bubbling around the edges—mine seems to take about 100 seconds to be perfect, but depends on how much filling you have. If you prefer not to use the microwave, you can bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes.
Let it sit for a few minutes so the filling thickness can set, then eat hot with ice cream (or if you’re weird like me, put it in the fridge to chill—hot fruit is so weird!).
If you really want to go big, try this amazing bourbon cherry crisp with brown butter streusel!
Single-Serving Cherry Crisp
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup of frozen sweet dark cherries, chopped up a little (depends on the size of your ramekin)
- The cherry juice that comes from thawing the cherries (if your cherries don’t make juice, you’ll want to add a tablespoon or two of water to compensate, or squish the cherries a bit to produce juice)
- Roughly 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
- A few drops of almond extract
- 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon (for filling)
- 1 tablespoon of whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon of quick oats
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil (or other oil of your choice)
- Sprinkling of cinnamon (for topping)
Thaw the cherries (I used the microwave), and gently chop them up into halves or quarters if they’re giant (like mine were). They should create quite a bit of juice (if they don’t, supplement with a little water). Add the cornstarch and almond extract and stir in. Stir the cinnamon in as well (a dash of ginger wouldn’t go amiss either).
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pour in the melted coconut oil and use a fork to roughly combine the ingredients. You should end up with a crumbly, slightly wet mixture.
Pour the cherry mixture into your ramekin (or mug, if you want), then sprinkle the topping over it. Cook in the microwave for 90-120 seconds, until the cherry mixture is bubbling around the edges—mine seems to take about 105 seconds to be perfect. If you prefer not to use the microwave, you can bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes.
Let sit for a few minutes, then eat hot (or throw in the fridge to cool off if you’re weird like me and don’t like hot fruit!).