An easy cherry crisp recipe made with fresh cherries and an almond oat crumble topping makes a delicious healthy summer dessert that’s gluten-free + vegan. Just so you know, this post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission when you shop through them.
One of my favorite summer desserts is fruit crisp. I’ve shared a few in the past, like Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp, Blueberry Crisp, and Stuffed Peaches! During the holiday season I love this Apple Crumble Pie. This cherry crisp is made with fresh cherries, and a few apricots for extra flavor, and a delicious gluten-free almond crumble topping.
Fresh cherry crisp is one summer dessert you simply must make this year. It would be lovely to bring to summer holidays like Forth of July, or just as a Sunday supper dessert. The cherries get warm and bubbly while the crumble gets toasty golden brown. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The house we rented in Tuscany had the most incredible cherry trees covered in the sweetest juicy cherries. I don’t think I’d ever seen cherry trees like these before. We ate them straight off the tree while playing in the yard, and the girls and I have been hooked on fresh summer cherries ever since. While I am all about eating them as-is, this cherry crisp is a great way to turn cherries into an elegant dessert.
How to Make Cherry Crisp with Fresh Cherries
There are two basic components to any fruit crisp: the fruit on the bottom and the crumble topping. I find that fruit crisps are much easier to make than pies, and not quite as heavy.
Pit the Cherries
Pitting fresh cherries is the most tedious part of making a cherry crisp. I highly recommend getting a cherry/olive pitter if you don’t own one already. You can find them at cooking supply shops or on Amazon (Affiliate Link). Though the cherry pitter does an excellent job of removing the pits, they aren’t removed 100% of the time, so I do recommend halving the cherries as well to be sure. No one wants to bite down on a pit – ouch. The texture of this crisp is also better with halves.
Prepare the Cherry Crisp Filling
The pitted cherries can go straight into the baking dish. I used a Le Creuset cast iron skillet, but any medium sized casserole dish will work (such as an 8-inch square, or 9-inch pie dish). My unique spin on this cherry crisp is to add apricots. Both are summer stone fruits and work beautifully together. I love the little bit of tartness and softer texture the apricot slices add. Of course if you only have cherries, that’s fine too! Or, if you’d like to add another type of stone fruit like peaches, nectarines, or plums, go for it!
Toss the fruit with fresh lemon juice, a sprinkle of arrowroot or cornstarch, and a splash or maple syrup.
Prepare the Almond Crumble Topping
This image is from another crisp I made in the past, but the ingredients are the same other than almonds instead of walnuts. This simple and delicious fruit crisp topping is made with no flour. It’s almond flour (just ground almonds), oats, coconut sugar, nuts, and butter. I now use melted butter and stir it together in a bowl to save on time and getting out the heavy food processor.
Bake the Crisp
Once the topping comes together, place it right on top of the fruit. Bake it in the oven until the crisp topping is golden brown. This may happen after just 10 minutes so it’s important to check on it frequently. Once brown, cover the crisp and continue baking. I use the Le Creuset cover that came with my skillet, but foil works just fine.
When the cherry crisp is ready, the fruit will be nice a bubbly.
How to Serve Fruit Crisp
Fruit crisp is best served warm while the crisp topping is still actually crisp. However, I’m perfectly happy to have reheated leftovers for breakfast the next morning. Spoon the crisp into dessert bowls and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Trader Joe’s vanilla soy cream is shown here.
- 1.5 lbs. fresh cherries
- 4 apricots
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot (or cornstarch)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup rolled oats (certified gluten free)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter such as Miyoko’s, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Pit the cherries and cut them in half. Be sure to discard all the pits so that none accidentally end up in the crisp. Halve the apricots and remove their pits. Cut into 1/2" slices.
- Place the cherry and apricot pieces into a pie dish, cast iron skillet, or 8-inch casserole dish. Toss the fruit with the arrowroot, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of syrup. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the almond flour, oats, almonds, sugar, melted butter, and tablespoon remaining syrup. Crumble together with your fingers until the mixture comes together into crumbles.
- Top the fruit mixture with the crumble topping.
- Place in the oven until the top begins to turn golden brown. Check often as this may happen after only 10 minutes depending on your oven. Cover the crisp with an ovenproof skillet lid (if using a skillet) or foil. Continue baking until the fruit is soft and bubbly (about 35 minutes bake time total).
- Carefully remove from the oven and serve warm with vanilla ice cream (I used Trader Joe's soy cream here).
The addition of apricots lend a more pleasant texture and bright flavor, but you can also just use 2 lbs. fresh cherries.
OXO Good Grips Cherry and Olive Pitter, Red
Le Creuset Signature Iron Handle Skillet, 10-1/4-Inch, Cerise (Cherry Red)
Bob's Red Mill Super-Fine Gluten Free Almond Flour, 3 Pound
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 363 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 10mg Sodium: 162mg Carbohydrates: 50g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 37g Protein: 7g