I have a very vivid memory of my childhood peering into the abyss of a large freezer filled with sour cherries. This freezer still exists at my parents house. It is ancient, but trustworthy. Michiganders are notorious for squirreling away vast quantities of food in freezers as you can never be too prepared for a brutal winter, or frankly just prepared for any kind of weather.
We were not one of those families who had freezers full of deer meat. Like I said, for some reason I remember seeing a lot of sour cherries. Sour cherries (which are the variety Montmorency cherries) are a big thing in Michigan- right up there with blueberries. You never know when the mood strikes you to whip out a cobbler or crisp- and you must be prepared! If you are not privy to sour cherries by all means use fresh sweet bing or a mixture of bing and rainier cherries; just reduce the sugar probably by half.
Vanilla ice cream just takes it over the top….
yield: 7 individual 4.5 oz ramekins or one large 1.5-2 quart casserole dish
7 Cups pitted frozen tart cherries, thawed
1 Cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
1. In a medium nonstick saucepan combine first 3 ingredients. Cook over medium heat until mixture becomes thick and bubbly. Stir in the extracts. Fill ramekins 3/4 full, then top with crumble mixture (recipe below). Bake at 375° F for 24-30 minutes until topping is lightly browned. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Note: if you like you may make one large dish and use a 1.5 or 2 quart oval or rectangular casserole dish, and adjust the baking time as needed.
1/4 Cup flour
1/4 Cup packed brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 Cup soft butter, cubed
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 Cup slivered almonds