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It's Rainier Cherry Time

Monday, 18 July 2022 14:53

It’s Rainier Cherry Time

By Betsy Smart

Well, we missed it this year. Missed what you might ask? Well last Monday, July 11, was officially designated Rainier Cherry Day.

Fortunately, though the season is a short one, fresh examples of this delightful fruit will still be in many produce departments into August. Of course, you can snack on them just as they come off the tree, but we’ll find a way to incorporate them in something from our kitchen.

In doing a little internet research over the weekend, we found that the Rainier Cherry is the product of a Washington State professor, who created it by crossing Bing and Van varieties in 1952. Poking around a bit further we discovered the website Ugly Duckling Bakery where we encountered the Rainier Cherry Crisp recipe which we bring you below. A visit to the site will yield the revelation that there is not an actual “Ugly Duckling Bakery,” and that it is the creative outlet for “Joanne,” who identifies herself as an “infectious disease doctor” in the state of Washington. Recipes aren’t limited to baked goods. The site is well done and worth checking out  (

Rainier Cherry Crisp


Almond crisp topping

  • ½ cup toasted almonds
  • ¾ cup (94 grams or 3.3 ounces) all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (50 grams or 1.8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams or 3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes

Rainier cherries

  • 2 cups Rainier cherries, pitted and halved
  • ¼ cup (50 grams or 1.8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract


Almond crisp topping

  1. Using a food processor, pulse the nuts about 10 times until chopped. Empty about half of the nuts into a small bowl and set aside.

½ cup toasted almonds

  1. Add the flour, sugars, and salt to the food processor and process until fine.

¾ cup (94 grams or 3.3 ounces) all purpose flour, ¼ cup (50 grams or 1.8 ounces) granulated sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 pinch salt

  1. Add the butter and pulse until the butter has been chopped to the size of small peas and the mixture clumps together between your fingers.

6 tablespoons (85 grams or 3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes

  1. Add the mixture to the bowl with the nuts and mix.

Rainier cherry crisp

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Mix the cut cherries, sugar, lemon juice, and almond extract in a small bowl or directly in the baking dish.

2 cups Rainier cherries, pitted and halved, ¼ cup (50 grams or 1.8 ounces) granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon almond extract

  1. Crumble small handfuls of crisp topping over the cherries in the baking dish.
  2. Bake until the topping has browned and the cherries are bubbling thickly, about 40 minutes.
  3. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  • This recipe will make lots of extra almond crisp topping. Just store the extra in a freezer bag for up to 6 months for future fruit crisps.
  • If you want to make this Rainier cherry crisp for more people, estimate 1 cup of fruit per person or perhaps less if you are serving with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.
Last modified on Monday, 18 July 2022 14:56
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