Inspiration, Recipes

Michigan Cherry Picking + Crisp Recipe

August 14, 2017

There’s nothing quite like driving out into the country on a beautiful sunny day to go cherry picking in Michigan. I had my heart set on making a cherry crisp and luckily Lehman’s Orchard in Niles still had tart cherries ripe for picking. The July sun was quite hot, but some areas under the fruit trees gave just enough shade. This was my first time picking cherries and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Picking is easy and fun—I got 5 lbs in no time. I was surprised at how naturally bright red the cherries were—almost like cherry tomatoes in the sun.

“Taking the extra step to source your own fruit…you just appreciate it that much more in the baking process.”

Lehman’s Orchard has a do-it-yourself washing station and complimentary cherry pitting, which I took advantage of. There’s something so special about picking and washing your own fruit. Of course, time and season doesn’t always allow…but the end result is so worth it when you take that first bite into warm cherry crisp—berries bursting with flavor.

Tart Cherry Almond Crisp


For the Cherry Pie Filling:

5 cups fresh pitted tart cherries

1 cup sugar

4 Tbsp instant Tapioca

1/2 cup reserved tart cherry juice

1/2 tsp almond extract

pinch of salt

For the Crisp Topping:

1 cup flour

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 stick softened butter

1/4 tsp cinnamon



In a large saucepan, blend together sugar, tapioca and salt using a whisk. Add cherry juice and stir until well blended; add pitted cherries. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture reaches a boil, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease two 9-inch pie plates or similar size baking dishes. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon then add the butter. Combine with a fork or your hands until medium clumps form. Add almonds and stir to combine. Spoon cooled cherry filling into prepared baking dishes and add topping evenly. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned on top. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

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