Wednesday, July 24, 2013

sour cherry crumble.

I've been envisioning myself making a cherry pie for about 5 years now.  It would be complete with crimped edges, a lattice top, and homemade vanilla ice cream to serve it with.  I would bring it to the table wearing a frilly gingham apron, everyone would ooh and ahh.  (I live in such a fantasy land.)  But somehow every summer over the last 5 years, cherry season escaped me before I had the chance to to pit hundreds of cherries to be enclosed in a flaky pie crust.  I swore to myself that this summer would be different (don't we all do that?  Convince ourselves of the highly unlikely.).  Alas, this summer was not different (at least not as of yet, I am still holding out that things will change), cherry pie was not made because that little thing called a heat wave got in the way. Trying to cook a pie in an apartment that even with our lovely air conditioning unit (thanks Mom and Dad!) manages to remain a stagnant 88 degrees whenever the oven is on was something I wasn't willing to do.  So I cooked the next best thing - a cherry crumble.  This crumble is pretty superb since it basically involves and almond shortbread topping that sits on a base of tart sour cherries.  It's a cookie crumble hybrid which is a pretty dandy idea in my book and even more dandy idea then a pie.  And people still ooh and ahh for crumble!

Sour Cherry Crumble
Recipe adapted from I Love New York by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara

So I made a few changes.  First the almond crumble I made using a pastry blender instead of the mixer since I didn't want there to be more dishes.  Either one works. You can probably also blend the butter in with your fingers if you don't own either.  I upped the amount of cherries from 4 cups to 5 since 4 seemed a little stingy to me and baked the crumble in a 9 inch pie pan.  

Almond Crumble

1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup cold butter, diced (1/4 inch)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons bread flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Cherry Filling

5 cups pitted sour cherries
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1/2 lemon

Almond Crumble: Blend all of the ingredients together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until the mixture becomes crumbly.  Or you can blend the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until large chunks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cherry Filling: Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients using a rubber spatula. Transfer the cherry mixture to a 10 by 7-inch baking dish or a 9 inch pie pan. Cover with the almond crumble and bake until golden brown and bubbly, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

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