Friday, June 25, 2010

Fresh Cherry Crumble

This is THE season for sweet cherries and my husband and I look forward to it every summer! Right now they're readily available in the stores, usually at the lowest price of the year. It always has been a tradition that every year at this time I make a sugar-free fresh cherry pie for my family. (If you've never had a cherry pie made from scratch with fresh cherries, then you've missed out. ) I love the taste but, even though it's sugar-free, it still must remain a once-a-summer treat because the carb and calorie count is too high. The culprit is in the crust. In this recipe, I've eliminated the high carb crust while keeping the best part - the yummy, sweet, gooey cherry filling! With only 18.5 net carbs per serving, it is a dessert I can have more often. It's very easy to prepare and, I guarantee, will be a huge hit at your family's 4th of July gathering.

Sugar-free Fresh Cherry Crumble
(Serves 8)

4 cups fresh cherries, pitted
2 tablespoons Splenda granular
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca (dry)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest or ¼ teaspoon almond extract

Crumble Topping:
¼ cup almond flour
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup Splenda granular
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed

1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Place the pitted cherries into a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons Splenda, tapioca, nutmeg, lemon zest or extract. (Do not add the zest, if using almond extract.) Stir to combine. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Meanwhile, place all of the dry topping ingredients into a large bowl. Add cubed butter and cut in using a pastry blender or two knives until butter has been incorporated and the mixture resembles small pebbles (do not overwork the mixture or it will turn to dough).

3. Pour cherry mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Distribute cherries into an even layer and sprinkle the crumble topping over the top. Bake in a preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 40 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information per serving: 134.8 calories, 20 g carbohydrate, 6 g total fat, 2.7 g saturated fat, 20 mg sodium, 1.5 g fiber, 1.1 g protein

Original recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2010

How does this recipe compare to a traditional two-crust cherry pie? The difference will blow you away! If you thought that a fresh fruit pie is a good dessert choice, think again. For comparison, the nutritional information for 1/8th of a 9" cherry pie is 486 calories, 69.3 g carbohydrate, 22 g total fat, 5.4 g saturated fat, 344 mg sodium, 1.4 g fiber, 5 g protein.

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