No more sour cherries at the Coop this year. You may have missed them--it is only a short season, several weeks in June.
I love sour cherries--just to eat out of the box or to use in desserts. And I love the fact that sour cherries are so fragile that they cannot be shipped any distance, and therefore we are limited to the local cherry season. Unlike their robust and bright cousins the Bing cherries, sour cherries don't have a thick skin and puddle together in their wooden quarts.
But sour cherries do have an intense flavor--definitely tart, but so tasty. They are the only cherries that should be used for a cherry pie. I prefer crumbles to pies--eliminating the crust also eliminates a lot of calories. In making the crumble above, I did not add any thickener such as corn starch to the juicy cherries, because I did not have to worry about having a soggy crust. I used almond meal, wholewheat flour, Fair Trade sugar, butter and a little nutmeg to make the topping. It came out tart, but I knew I wanted to top it off with Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream. A very delicious combo.
You don't need a cherry pitter, although I looked at cool multi-cherry pitters online. A co-worker suggested using a straw, and it worked. The process is a little messy, but I was surprised at how quickly I was able to pit a quart of cherries for this small crumble.