Rainier Cherry Crumble

Rainier cherries are sweet enough on their own that the filling for this crumble needs no extra sugar. The topping is crunchy and nutty, and the filling is sweet, warm, and gooey, for a perfect comforting dessert. You don't even need a cherry pitter: Hit each cherry with the flat side of a chef's knife (like crushing garlic cloves), and the pit pops right out. 
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Dash of salt
  • 3 pounds very sweet cherries, such as Rainier, pitted
  • 4 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1. Preheat oven to 400°.  
2. Place a 9-inch cast-iron skillet in preheated oven; heat 5 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and lightly coat with cooking spray.  
3. Combine cornstarch, juice, dash of salt, and cherries in a large bowl, tossing well to coat. Pour cherry mixture into prepared pan.  
4. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon salt) in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. 
5. Sprinkle flour mixture over cherries. 
6. Place skillet on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until filling is thick and bubbly and topping is browned. Remove from oven; let stand 20 minutes. Serve warm.


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