This cherry crisp is perfect for dessert, but it also makes a mighty fine breakfast! I haven’t tried it this way yet, but I can imagine it’d be excellent with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream. Myself, I just like it plain in a bowl with nothing on the side but a big spoon. Totally brings back the memories, man. Enjoy!
Pour the cans of cherries into a large strainer set over a large bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons of the water from the cherries, and discard the rest. Dump the cherries into the bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch with the 3 tablespoons of reserved cherry water, and set aside. In a small saucepan, stir together the 1/2 cup of cherry water with the 8 tablespoons of sugar, and set over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts to boil. Stir the cornstarch/cherry water mixture and whisk into the boiling cherry water. Cook, whisking constantly until the mixture is thickened and bubbling, about one minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract. Pour over the cherries and stir well to combine.
Spread the cherries into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. [If you like a little more crumble topping than fruit, halve the cherry mixture but use the same amount of crumble topping! This recipe is pretty heavy on the cherries]
Evenly scatter the crumble topping over the cherries in the baking dish, making sure to go all the way to the edges of the pan. Press down lightly on the topping to make sure it’s in an even layer. Bake the cherry crisp in the preheated oven for 28-30 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Let cool slightly before serving, or chill entirely before serving.