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Whole-Grain Cherry Crumble

At first glance, this appears to be a very classic cherry crumble, but there are three genius details that add layers of delicious flavor. First, the topping is made with whole wheat flour for a pleasantly hefty, rustic character; second, a splash of balsamic vinegar adds subtle complexity to the cherries; third, grated pear is mixed into the filling, which not only rounds out the bright cherry flavor but also helps thicken the juices.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6 to 8

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  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1/4 cup raw almonds, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed

  • 2 pounds fresh or frozen cherries, pitted (4 cups)

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

  • 1 firm Bartlett pear—halved, cored and coarsely shredded on a box grater

  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the brown sugar, oats, almonds, salt and nutmeg. Using your fingers, work in the butter until large crumbs begin to form. Press the streusel into small clumps and refrigerate until chilled, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large ovenproof skillet, combine the cherries, granulated sugar, vinegar and the vanilla bean and seeds. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the juices are bubbling, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the grated pear and let cool completely; discard the vanilla bean.
  3. Scatter the streusel evenly over the cherries. Bake for about 1 hour, until the topping is golden and the cherries are bubbling. Let cool slightly. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Contributed By Photo © Paul Costello Published April 2014

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