Cherry-Basil and Almond Crisp
Serves 6 to 8


For the cherry-basil filling:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 to 3 stems of basil (about 20 leaves)
  • 6 cups pitted cherries

For the almond crisp:

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)

Pour the water and the sugar into a medium pot. Turn the heat to medium and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the basil. Simmer until the syrup is thickened and has reduced by 2/3. Discard the basil and let the syrup cool. (You can make this syrup several days in advance, and store it in the fridge.)

In a mixing bowl, toss the cooled basil syrup with the pitted cherries. Set the bowl aside.

Empty the slivered almonds into the bowl of a food processor; whiz for about 30 seconds, until the almonds are reduced to dusty crumbles.

Put the almond crumbles, flour, salt, and butter into a large bowl. Use your fingers to make small "pebbles." Add the sugar and keep smushing with your fingers until the mix resembles wet sand.

Empty the basil-cherries into a medium-size casserole or baking dish. Top the cherries with the crisp topping. Move the dish to the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the crisp is a shade darker and the cherries are bubbling. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream, if you like.