This marriage of apricots and tart Evans cherries is made in summer-fruit heaven. Top it with crispy, oaty, buttery crumbs for a fantastic dessert. (Or a delicious breakfast – I won’t tell.) Skip to recipe.
The Evans cherries are almost ripe.
The trees are loaded, and I’ve been sneaking out to pick a few of the reddest ones. I know many people pick them as soon as they’re medium red, but I like to wait until the sour cherries are deep dark red and have more sugars developed, even better after a light frost if I can wait that long. They’re still mouth-puckering, but the flavour is deeper. This year, the Evans cherries are a little early. They usually ripen in late August to early September in our area, but if you can stand to hold off, you’ll have amazing sour cherries. They don’t seem to suffer for a longer wait, staying on the the tree and just getting sweeter.
I love seeing those trees, abundantly adorned with their ruby jewels. It gives me such pleasure.
It wasn’t that long ago that we couldn’t even grow sour cherries in Alberta – the Evans has only been available to the public since about 1996. It was developed in practically our own back yard. Alberta horticulturist, Dr. Ieuan Evans, discovered an unknown strain of sour cherry trees growing in an old orchard northeast of Edmonton where they had been producing cherries since 1923. He propagated the suckers and distributed them everywhere, and within years, the Evans cherry exploded in popularity, now being grown all over Canada and into the United States and other cold climate countries in the world. The trees reach 10 to 15 feet tall and are easy to grow. They are reliable producers of heavy sour cherry crops, with large juicy cherries almost an inch across.
This is what summer tastes like – soft baked fruit, tart and juicy, topped with a crunchy crumbly topping of buttery crumbs. Yes.
I found beautiful B.C. apricots at the farmers market and what better way to showcase them than together with our beautiful Alberta sour cherries?
Look at those glowing jewels.
The snuggle up all cozy together under their blanket of crumbs to make this:
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Kitchen Frau notes: Substitute other sour cherries if you don’t have Evans cherries. You can also substitute peaches or nectarines for the apricots.
Check out my post on a nifty trick to easily pit those delicate and juicy Evans cherries.
- 2 cups diced apricots, ¾ inch/2cm cubes (340gms)
- 2 cups pitted Evans sour cherries (320 gms pitted) or other sour cherries; see how to pit Evans cherries
- ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
- ½ cup (100gms) sugar (preferably organic evaporated cane sugar)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or potato starch
- 1/3 cup (75gms) soft coconut oil or butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (125gms) lightly packed brown sugar or coconut sugar
- ½ cup (50 gms) oat flour, gluten-free if necessary
- ½ cup (50gms) ground almonds/almond meal
- ½ cup (45 gms) rolled oats (quick oats), gluten-free if necessary
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Put the diced apricots and pitted cherries into a 9-inch (23cm) square or 10-inch (25cm) round baking dish. Sprinkle with the almond extract and toss lightly. (It will distribute more evenly when baking.)
In a small bowl, mix together the ½ cup sugar and the cornstarch or potato starch, until no lumps remain. Pour this mixture evenly over the fruit in the baking dish.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand in a bowl with a wooden spoon, cream the coconut oil, salt, and brown sugar until well combined. Beat in the oat flour, ground almonds, and rolled oats until well mixed and crumbly, or work them in with your fingers.
Spread the crumble topping evenly over the fruit.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Serve warm with ice cream, frozen yogurt, or whipped cream.
Leftovers are great for breakfast with yogurt.
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