You. I know you. You’re that sneaky scoundrel who scooped all of the topping off of my cherry crisp. You took the buttery, brown-sugary baked oatmeal crisp magic for yourself, and you left the rest of us with naked, un-crispified fruit filling. I’m upset only because you beat me to it.
I baked us a Double Crust Cherry Crisp, because we’ve all been where no decent person should be forced to go. We’ve spent the entire meal (or in my fruit crisp-obsessed case, the entire day) dreaming about that perfect, golden crisp topping and the hot, bubbly fresh fruit that waits underneath. We’ve arrived jubilantly at the dish, spoon and vanilla ice cream at the ready, only to discover that our dirty rotten brother/labrador/husband stole 90% of the crisp topping.
Leftovers are even worse. You know how good the crisp is and you return eagerly for a second round, only to discover someone has eaten off all of the topping and put the container with just the filling back in the refrigerator. Please tell me I’m not the only one.
Think about it. The greatest cherry pies—the pies of our mothers, grandmothers, and the bake sale ladies at church—all have two crusts. A cherry pie with only one crust would seem sad and lonely. Doesn’t cherry crisp deserve the same?
Double Crust Cherry Crisp is here to right wrongs. No more disappointment, no more topping fights, no more inappropriately naked fruit fillings. Double the crisp topping and let there be peace, harmony, and total silence as we bury our faces in double-crusted summer fruit crisp nirvana.
Now that I’ve spent the last 200+ words blabbing about how crisp topping practically has divine powers (and yes, I do believe it is magnificent), I’m going to state that I don’t actually think the topping is the best part of cherry crisp. I adore fresh cherries, to the extent that I had to buy this cherry pitter to keep up with my mass consumption.
The beauty of cherry (or any summer fruit) crisp, to me, is the way a few simple ingredients—fresh fruit, oatmeal, brown sugar, butter—bake together into something more meaningful, comforting, and classically delectable than any single component on its own. Addictive crisp topping and wholesome fruit should exist in equilibrium. I just happen to think that equilibrium requires twice as much of the crisp component.
Making Double Crust Cherry Crisp is every bit as simply and twice as yummy as a single-crust cherry crisp. Double the usual oatmeal crisp topping mixture, press half into the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle the rest over the top of the filling.
For the crisp topping (and bottoming?) I used half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose along with the rolled oats. I decided to let the crisp flavors focus on the cherry and skipped the nuts, but I imagine chopped almonds, walnuts, or even pistachios would be a fabulous addition.
For the filling, I used sweet Bing cherries, so I kept the amount of sugar in the recipe to a minimum. If you are using sour pie cherries (my favorite—I can’t wait for them to arrive at the farmers market next week!) you may want to increase the amount of filling sugar by a few tablespoons.
In case you were wondering, Double Crust Cherry Crisp is totally breakfast appropriate. Try it with a scoop of plain Greek yogurt. Not only will you feel like a champion in the morning, but also you’ll beat your brother/labrador/husband to the leftovers. Now, thanks to the double crust, those leftovers will include plenty of oatmeal crisp goodness to enjoy, but don’t be surprised if they go twice as fast. It’s the magic of the crisp.
Double Crust Cherry Crisp
For the Cherry Filling:
- 4 cups sweet cherries such as Bing, pitted (about 3 ¼ pounds); fresh or frozen and thawed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Crisp Base and Topping:
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) melted
- Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or yogurt for serving.
- Place rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie dish, 9-inch cake pan, or 11x7-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, gently toss together the cherries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla. Let stand while you prepare the crisp base and topping.
- Prepare the crisp base and topping: In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pour in the melted butter, then stir until the mixture is combined and evenly moistened. Press half of the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Spread the cherries evenly over the bottom of the baking dish, the sprinkle the remaining crisp mixture over the top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and topping is golden. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or yogurt.
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Get your $$’s worth out of that cherry pitter I convinced you to buy: