Cherry Crunch



By Cat, Feb 2008 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

There is nothing like a fruit crisp as dessert, any time of the year; simply use whatever fruit is in season:  apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, berries, or even a combination of these. I don’t like my crisp too sweet, as the sweetness takes away from the pleasant tartness of the fruit.

This recipe uses a topping of flour, oats and walnuts with sugar and butter, but you could use a different topping. For example, try my Almond Meal & Pecan Topping if you want gluten-free or grain-free.

Cherry Crunch

This recipe is adapted from Extraordinary Health magazine, Volume 9, and serves 6 – 8. The magazine included this recipe in an article titled “Inflammation Cooling Recipes.” In this case, several of the ingredients fit this bill, including tart cherries, apples, walnuts and cinnamon.

The original recipe uses arrowroot powder as the thickener, or use Organic corn starch (commercial corn starch is made from GMO corn).

You could use ⅛ – ¼ tap stevia extract powder instead of rapadura sugar in the topping, but it will not caramelize like the sugar will. If you are avoiding sugar, try mixing 2 Tbsp rapadura sugar with 1/16 – ⅛ tsp stevia extract instead.

Using stevia in the fruit mixture works well, as the tartness of the fruit will mask any bitterness in the stevia. However, if you prefer to use sugar, increase the Rapadura sugar to 2 – 4 Tbsp (to taste).

This version does not use a presoaked crumble, but you can use the Yogurt-Spelt Crumble, instead, using rolled oats for part of the flour, and add the walnuts as in this recipe.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • Topping:
  • ⅓ cup toasted walnuts (preferably presoaked before toasting)
  • ¼ cup Rapadura sugar or date sugar
  • ⅓ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not the quick cooking kind)
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted (or ghee)
  • Fruit mixture:
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples (or 1 Granny Smith and 1 sweeter apple such as braeburn, fuji, gala or honey crisp)
  • 1 lb fresh or frozen pitted tart cherries
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2 – 4 Tbsp Rapadura sugar (or 1 tsp sugar and ⅛ tsp stevia extract powder)
  • 3 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder or 3 Tbsp Organic cornstarch
  • ½ cup unsweetened cherry juice
  • Equipment:
  • bowl or jar for soaking nuts
  • baking sheet for toasting nuts
  • 8″ square cake pan
  • large bowl
  • small cup or bowl


  1. Overnight prep: Chop walnuts, then pre-soak overnight, using lemon juice or yogurt to acidify the water. Next day, toast at 300°F for 15 minutes. Alternately you can chop raw walnuts and toast them the same day you make the dessert, but you will not get maximum nutritional benefit from the nuts.
  2. Topping, next day: Combine nuts with sugar, oats and flour; toss to combine, then melted butter and toss again.
  3. Fruit: Preheat oven to 400°F.  Butter cake pan.
  4. Core apples, then slice as for pie. Mix in large bowl with cherries, apples, and almond extract. Mix stevia and cinnamon and toss with fruit mixture.
  5. In small cup, mix arrowroot or cornstarch with stevia, then stir in unsweetened cherry juice until the starch dissolves. Add to fruit mixture; stir well.
  6. Bake: Pour mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle topping over all.
  7. Bake 30 minutes in preheated oven. Remove and serve warm.

Serving suggestions

  • Serve with crème fraichewhipped cream or ice cream;
  • Garnish with chopped or sliced fresh fruit of a different variety than in the crisp; for example, garnish an apple crisp with fresh blueberries.


  1. Extraordinary Health magazine, Volume 9; Inflammation Cooling Recipes article

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