Back in the day, Husband and I were lucky enough to make frequent trips to California. We had our little get-aways perfectly planned. We’d hop the Thursday morning Nerd Bird to San Jose, jump in a convertible, and head south to Carmel or Big Sur. We felt the pressures of the world unwinding like clockwork about an hour into our car ride when the concrete crust congealing Silicon Valley dissolved into an earthy, fertile oasis somewhere around Watsonville. It’s a surreal transition. One we always marked with a quick stop to a farm stand to buy cherries. There is nothing more cathartic than zooming down PCH 1, wind in your hair, ocean on your right, mountains on your left, and spittin’ cherry pits to mark your path.
These memories inspired the cherry crisp baking in my oven at this very moment. In fact, I’m naming this dessert Big Sur Cherry Crisp. If you happen to have a big bowl of cherries on your counter as I did, toss them into a crisp, and you’ll be California Dreamin’ too.
Big Sur Cherry Crisp
3 cups cherries, pitted
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs vanilla
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon
1 Tbs maple syrup
1 Tbs vanilla
8 Tbs (1 stick) butter
Do you have a cherry pitter? I’m not much in to one trick ponies, but I heart my cherry pitter! Pit the cherries in a bowl.
Sprinkle cherries with sugar and vanilla. Toss to coat.
Pour cherries into a baking dish, and set aside after you taste just one!
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon, vanilla and maple. Slice butter into pieces and cut into mixture by hand. Knead the mixture until its well combined and crumbly.
Sprinkle the oatmeal crumbles on top of the cherries. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes at 350 degrees.
Speaking of California, we are blessed to have weather this morning that feels coastal. I’m off for a quick hop, limp or walk just to enjoy the cool temps. And to work off tonight’s Big Sur Cherry Crisp.
You must’ve needed those weekends away!!! This looks awesome and I wish I could make it this week, but I’m baking road trip goods… and this needs to be savored properly not jammed in a car!
I can’t quite articulate how much I want to eat that entire pan of deliciousness. Almost as much as I missed your posts!! Thanks for sharing!
That looks beautiful and much less complicated than a cherry pie. I must try it, that is, after I get a cherry pitter. BTW, thanks for the twitter follow. 🙂
The road trip sounds fabulous right now! If that’s not doable than a big slice of your cherry crisp might do. Missed ya!!!!
I brought a hefty bag of cherries home yesterday, but they’re nearly gone. Maybe there’s hope for a miniature Big Sur!
What a great recipe and what a unique idea as a gift for SOMEONE to give a cherry pitter to their Mother!
A friend of mine’s dad flies the American Nerd Bird. His name is Captain Mike Murphy.
Also, cherries are $2.99 now at H.E.B.
I think I now need to run to the store for some cherries. This looks really good.
any chance you made an extra and have it in the freezer? i have thought about this big sur crisp many times since you published…
Very good recipe. Though depending on the cherries you use, a little bit of lemon juice sprinkled on the final product can be a nice addition to the flavor.