Cherry Crisp is one of my all-time favorite desserts. The key for me is to thicken cherries myself rather than using cherry pie filling. If you want to use purchased cherry pie filling because time is short, it will work fine but it won't taste quite as good.
Okay so maybe that's just me being a little snobby. . .
But maybe we can just call me opinionated about cherries instead??? That sounds a lot better than snobby.
For the cherry filling you need two cans of tart red cherries, cornstarch, sugar, water, and a little almond extract if you want. (I like it, but if you don't by all means leave it out)
Open the cans of cherries and drain off the juice into a small saucepan, add 1 cup sugar (can use less if you want it less sweet) and bring to a boil.
In the meantime, make a slurry (that's just a fancy way of saying mix the two together until its smooth) of 3 tablespoons cornstarch and 3 oz. water.
While the juice is boiling grab a whisk in one hand and the slurry of cornstarch and water in the other and slowly pour the cornstarch slurry into the boiling juice whisking so that it doesn't get lumpy.
Turn down the heat a little and continue stirring until the juice is clear and thickened.
Take it off the heat and add a few drops of almond extract if you want it. I used about 1/8 teaspoon. Oh so yummy!
Add the cherries and set it aside until you are ready for it.
This is so crazy easy. . .Find a medium sized mixing bowl and dump in 2 cups flour, 2 cups oatmeal, 2 sticks of softened butter, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup white sugar. I usually add a little salt (1/4 teaspoon) too, but the recipe doesn't call for it so I guess that's optional.
Mix it all up until crumbly with your fingers or a pastry blender.
I have tried to freeze the crumbs before so that it was ready to throw together fast, but it really is important for the butter to be softened or else the bottom crust gets all crumbly and falls apart. Still tastes good, but it sure isn't pretty. So if you decide to freeze the crumbs, you have to let them come to room temperature before using them.
Take half of the crumbs and pat firmly into a 9 x 13 inch pan to make the bottom crust.
Pour the cherry filling unto the bottom crust.
Sprinkle the remaining half of the crumbs on top.
Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Be careful not to over bake because the butter can burn.
We often have it for dessert with ice cream at supper and then the leftovers for breakfast the next morning. Hey it's oatmeal and fruit right??? Works for me☺
2 cans tart red cherries
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 ounces water
1/8 teaspoon almond extract, optional
Drain cherry juice into a small saucepan. Add sugar and bring to a boil. In a separate small bowl mix the cornstarch and water until smooth. When the juice comes to a boil, pour the cornstarch mixture into the juice stirring until smooth, thickened, and clear. Take off heat and stir in almond extract, if desired. Add cherries and set aside until needed.
2 cups oatmeal
2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
Mix together until crumbly. Place half of the crumbs into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan and press down to form the bottom crust. Pour the cherry filling over the bottom crust and then sprinkle the remaining crumbs on top.
Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Do not over bake.