Secret-Ingredient Cherry Crumble


Hi all! Hope this summer has been a good one for you thus far. Things have been busy-busy as we gear up for the release of Midwest Made this October. It’s a new kind of work that begins once the book is off to the printers, and even though this is my fourth time at this particular rodeo, it still surprises me every time.

Anyway! Here’s the recipe for Secret-Ingredient Cherry Crumble from my recentInstagram stories. It’s a riff on a glorious cherry slab pie recipe from Midwest Made, which is now available for pre-order, by the by. But these unique, intense flavors are outstanding, whatever form they’re in.

(Oh! And if you pre-order, save your proof of purchase! There’s a pre-order giveaway coming later this month.)

Secret-Ingredient Cherry Crumble

Serves 6

Look for Chinese five-spice powder that has baking-friendly spices—cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, ginger, black pepper, etc. Every once in a while you might find one with garlic powder in it, and that’s…no good here.

For the crumble topping:


2/3 cup/66 g old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup/64 g unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup/113 g firmly packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Generous 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

6 tablespoons/85 g unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces 

1 cup (140g) sliced almonds


For the cherry filling:


1/2 cup/170 g light-bodied red wine, such as pinot noir 

2 pounds/907 g sweet red cherries, stemmed and pitted, divided 

1 tablespoons/28 g unsalted butter

1/4 cup/50 g granulated sugar

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder 

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract


Position a rack to the center of the oven and preheat it to 375°F/190°C. Have ready a 9-inch pie plate.

Prepare the topping: In a food processor or coffee grinder, grind the oats to a tweedy-looking flour. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the oat flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the mixture begins to clump. Crush in the sliced almonds with your hands. Mix again on low speed to blend. Freeze until ready to use. 

 Prepare the filling: In a 10-inch skillet, combine the wine and a third of the cherries. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat until thick and jammy, crushing the cherries with a potato masher, about 10 minutes. Stir in the butter. Let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, cornstarch, Chinese five-spice powder, and salt. Add the remainder of the cherries and the reduced wine-cherry mixture, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir gently until well combined. Pour into the pie plate.

Scatter the crumble topping over the top. 

Bake until golden and bubbling, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.



FruitShauna Sever