I have had a truly decadent July. After three weeks off, I’m back to work today. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve done lots of cooking and reading, I went to London, and I spent a week at the beach. It’s been wonderfully indulgent. But now, it’s Monday and I’m back to reality – work, gym, and eating well. At least that’s the plan.
However, before I go into health mode, I wanted to share this recipe for a not too unhealthy cherry crumble. It’s delicious without being an over-the-top super sickly sweet dessert.
The reason for my upcoming health kick is two fold. First, generally it’s a good idea to get some exercise and eat well. This month I have not been exercising at all. The step count on my Fitbit is at an embarrassing low! When I was a the beach I was barely cracking 6,000 steps, and my usual is in the high teens!
The second, and most important reason, is that I’m going to be a bridesmaid next year. When I was in London, I went dress shopping with my best friend Sarah (it’ll be her wedding next spring), and we found a really lovely dress. I won’t tell you more about the dress now, except to say that I really like it, and I want to o make sure I look great in it. So, now I’m going to get in shape and tone up. Now that I’ve told the whole internet my plan, I guess I have to stick to it, right?
My in-person accountability coach is my friend Anna. I think also she might join me in this fitness endeavor. At the very least, I’m putting her on blast to be my motivational partner. Hope you don’t mind.
Anna is also the person who gave me the cherries I used in this crumble. It was about to be my birthday, she was home visiting her family farm, I’m a foodie who loves baking – all of that adds up to a perfect present exchange. Also, I’m huge nerd and a quart of cherries gave me the chance to use my cherry-pitter. Let me say, a cherry-pitter is an extraordinarily fun single-use gadget. Basically, it’s a fruit hole-puncher that sharply punches out the pit without making a gigantic mess. I love using it and wish I had more cherries right now just so I could pit them.
Now because I’m on a health kick, let’s talk about why this isn’t too unhealthy. First, this recipe is mostly cherries. Second, the crumble topping uses whole-wheat flour, oats, and almonds. This gives it a heartier flavor and a bit more nutritional value. However, there is still quite a bit of brown sugar and butter so it’s not a health food. That said, I still had it for breakfast.
The filling’s not so bad either. There’s only a bit of sweetener added to the cherries – and it’s honey. So, while still caloric it’s less processed so that’s a bonus. Again, it’s still dessert, but not so bad for you that you have to feel guilty.
And don’t forget, it’s all about the cherries. Once baked, these sweet gorgeous cherries exude a beautiful ruby juice that thickens into a bubbly, thick syrup. Who cares about healthy or unhealthy when it’s so stunning on the eyes and the taste buds? Not me.
Adapted from Food & Wine.
- 1 quart/ 300 grams cherries, pitted and halved
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ¾ cup/ 100 grams whole wheat flour
- ⅓ cup/ 73 grams brown sugar
- ⅓ cup/ 28 grams rolled oats
- ¼/ 30 grams cup chopped raw almonds
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons/ 113 grams butter, cut into cubes
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
- In a 9" pie pan, mix together the cherries, balsamic, honey, and cornstarch.
- In a large bowl, mix together the whole wheat flour, brown sugar, oats, almonds, and salt.
- Add the butter to the bowl. Using your hands (or two knives making an X cutting motion) mix the butter into the flour mixture. Be sure to break up the butter into small clumps.
- Cover the cherries with the crumble topping. You might not need all of it.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes. It is ready when the crumble is brown and the cherry filling is bubbling through at the edges.
- Serve in bowls and with a spoon.