This easy cherry crisp is the perfect recipe to showcase sweet, juicy cherries. A layer of cherry pie filling is topped with a brown sugar, oatmeal crumble that’s baked until golden brown. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect ending to any meal. Every summer I get so excited when fresh cherries start popping up at the local farmer’s markets and grocery stores. There’s nothing better than a plump, juicy, extra sweet cherries. And this cherry crisp is the perfect recipe for cherry season.
Not only are fruit crisps way easier than making pie, but the cherries are 100% the star of the show. The oatmeal crisp topping has delicious brown sugar flavor and crunchy texture, but it’s the cherries that really shine. I love it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. But I’ve also been known to have it cold from the fridge for breakfast.
Homemade Cherry Crisp
To get started with this recipe, first we need to pit the fresh cherries (which is definitely the hardest part of the recipe). You can use a cherry pitter or a paring knife, and from there the hard part is over.
The pitted cherries get tossed in a little lemon juice, cinnamon. cornstarch, and sugar. The cornstarch helps to thicken the juices, and the lemon juice really brings out the flavor of the fresh cherries.
The cherry mixture goes in a large pot to gently boil. The cherries will first start to release their juices and then the juices will start to thicken. Normally when making fruit crisps and crumbles, I skip this step. However, because cherries have an especially thick skin – I found this step necessary for the cherries to soften and release their juices. Essentially, we’re making our own cherry pie filling here.
**If you’d like to use frozen berries in this cherry crisp – you’ll need to boil the mixture down for longer to thicken the juices and boil out the excess water from the ice crystals.
The topping only has 4 ingredients: flour, quick oats, brown sugar and butter. You’ll toss the dry ingredients together and then stir in the melted butter. It will resemble damp sand. Then the crisp topping gets sprinkled over the top of the cherry pie filling mixture.
You can also add in 1/2 cup slivered almonds to the crisp topping too if you like.
Cherry Crisp with Sour Cherries
This recipe was developed to use sweet, fresh cherries. If you’d like to use sour cherries instead – I recommend doubling the sugar in the cherry layer.
Cherry Crisp with Cherry Pie Filling
If you’d like to use premade cherry pie filling, simply dump two 21-oz cans of cherry pie filling into the bottom of your pan. Make the crisp topping as directed and sprinkle over top of the cherry layer. The bake time will be about the same.
This cherry crisp is so delicious because of the fresh cherries. Then with crumbly brown sugar crumble and a scoop of ice cream, it makes for the perfect no-fuss dessert.
For more cherry recipes, try these other favorites:
- 32 oz cherries* , pitted and sliced in half
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice , freshly squeezed
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats**
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , melted
Preheat the oven to 375F degrees
Add the cherries, sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and cinnamon to a very large stock pot. Toss with a spoon until the cherries are evenly covered.
Heat the mixture over low heat stirring occasionally. The cherries will first start to release their juices, and then the mixture will start to thicken.
After the juices have thickened (about 10-15 minutes), remove from the heat.
Pour the mixture into a 9x13 inch glass or ceramic pan.
In a medium bowl stir together the flour, oats, and sugar.
Stir in the melted butter. The mixture should look like wet sand.
Crumble the oatmeal topping over top of the cherries.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until you see the top starting to brown and cherries bubbling through. If the top is getting too brown, tent a piece of aluminum foil over top and continue baking.
*If using frozen berries, they'll need to boil for 5-10 minutes longer.
**Large rolled oats or large flake oats work too. Do not use instant or steel-cut oats.
Recipe can be halved and made in an 8x8 or 9x9 inch ceramic or glass pan.
Store leftovers covered in the fridge.