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Sour-Cherry Pistachio Crisp


CRISP \'krisp\ a baked concoction of sweetened fruit with a crumbly topping. Ours has more than a pound and a half of pitted sour cherries. Some debate whether the topping should include oats. Ours does, plus pistachios and the traditional brown sugar, butter, and flour. There's no disputing the results: tangy, sugary fruit and lots of crunch.

  • Servings: 8
sour cherry pistachio crisp

Photography: Dana Gallagher

Source: Martha Stewart Living, August 2005


  • 1 3/4 pounds pitted fresh or frozen sour cherries
  • 1/2 cup chopped unsalted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. If using frozen cherries, spread them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature until cherries have thawed almost completely but still hold their shape, about 30 minutes. Drain off any accumulated liquid.

  2. Whisk together the pistachios, flour, oats, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Put butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until creamy.

  3. Stir pistachio mixture into butter mixture until just combined. Work mixture through your fingers until it forms coarse crumbs ranging in size from small peas to gum balls; set topping aside.

  4. Stir together cherries, remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the cornstarch, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Transfer cherry mixture to an 8-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle the topping evenly over cherry mixture. Bake until topping turns golden and juices are bubbling, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool on a wire rack 1 hour before serving.

Reviews Add a comment

  • niffer17
    21 AUG, 2011
    I made this and followed the directions. I used 1 quart of fresh sour cherries from the farmer's market. This was the best crisp I have ever made. The only issue with the recipe is that (it stated) when the topping was stirred will be anywhere from pea shaped to larger pieces. I found the pieces ended up larger, no pea shaped. I was worried about this, but distributed the topping in even pieces. It turned out very crispy. I will make this again.