Cherry pits and stalks; Cherry crisps; Bing and Rainier cherries
Having never tried Rainier cherries before, when I saw these selling at the fruit stall near my workplace, I knew I had to get a small bag of them to try. All week, I was pondering hard what should I do with cherries, the classic choices seem to be a clafoutis, or a crisp/crumble. I've never made either, but wasn't sure if I would like the clafoutis so I decided to go with the crisp since I love a good crunch dessert. With that in mind, I went to the fruit stall and asked for 250g each of Bing and Rainier cherries (about a generous handful each). Cherries are certainly pricey at about $22-$36/kg. If they were cheaper, I would have happily gotten more to gorge on. In the end, though I paid more for the Rainier cherries, I think I still prefer the normal dark red Bing cherries? They just taste so much sweeter to me than the Rainier cherries.
Nevertheless, I've been happily munching on cherries for the past month or so? Daddy dearest always buys loads of fruits. There's always a huge ass variety in the house at any one time. And he always "buys the best for the two of us". So everyday, my maid will pack a box of fruits for me to bring to work to munch on when I'm feeling snackish. Cherries have been making a daily appearance in my box for the longest time ever. Heh. I'm one lucky girl. (: I'm going to be so sad when cherry season ends.
Of all the fruit crisps/crumbles recipes I saw online, I decided on Tartelette's version in the end. I have no idea what's the major difference between a crisp and a crumble, but from what I see here, the two sound pretty similar. I decided to call mine cherry crisps just because I think they sound nicer than cherry crumbles. Ha!
But then again, I couldn't just use the actual recipe without amending it with my itchy fingers, so I've actually posted the recipe I used below if anyone would like to try it. (:
adapted from Tartelette
Serves 4; (8 if you are willing to share! (: )
500g fruits of your choice ( in my case, cherries, pitted)
handful of dried cranberries, chopped
55g unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
100g brown sugar
50g almond meal
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
Slice cherries in halves and remove pits. Divide the fruit equally among four ramkins (I used three small and one medium). Scatter the chopped dried cranberries evenly on top of the fruits.
Combine the sugar, almond meal, cinnamon and chopped walnuts in a bowl,. Add the small cubes of butter and mix with a fork till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (My topping looked a bit wet so I scattered some flour into the mixture - there goes my gluten-free crisp. The bag of flour was nearer to me, my bag of almond meal was in the fridge. You can easily just add more almond meal to make it gluten-free.)
Divide the topping evenly among the ramkins. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
Taste: Omg I super love these! The cherries softened inside the oven, with the juices flowing freely and really, there is no need to add any sugar if you are using fruits that are in season cos there's just so much sugar and fresh flavour in them already. What you want is to taste the fruits, not overload on sugar. The topping was totally delish. I think crisps/crumbles will make frequent appearances on my blog from now on cos I really love the taste of a hot piping crisp straight from the oven. A spoon of that crunchy golden topping, combined with the sticky sweet filling. Man. Bliss. What have I been missing out on all these while? Loads, obviously.
The crisps would probably taste spectacular with a cold scoop of ice-cream but eaten plain on its own still hits all the right spots (for me at least). It has a certain comforting feel to it. Every bit seems to make me feel warm and fuzzy, I would love to curl up on a rainy day with a dish of this, in front of the TV, or with a good book.
Speaking of which, I've just bought a book recently! It's been ages since I last bought an actual book book. It's Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I've been wanting to get the book forever, and the last time I checked at Kino and Borders, they were selling the movie version (with Julia Roberts face on the books) instead of the original Eat, Pray, Love words on them. I mean, I love Julia Roberts, but I really wanted the original copy. So imagine my joy when I found the book at MPH! I grabbed a copy immediately. I've yet to start on my book, I'm saving it up for a good weekend when I feel like lying around chilling. Or maybe I should save it for a one-person picnic, or to read at a cafe. What say you? (:
I want to read the book before I watch the movie. It's supposedly coming out in cinemas soon, I think? I know I shouldn't do it, cos obviously I'll end up being disappointed with the movie in the end (think Harry Potter, Twilight, Kite Runner and so on) cos the words in the books resonate more with me than the visual imagery in movies can do for me. But oh well, I can't help myself. It's a bad habit of mine. At least I'll go into the cinema with a good idea of what the story plot will be instead of being clueless of what's going on. ;)