After spending some time in the south of France, I really came to love certain fruits and nuts mixed together in desserts. Maybe it's because almonds and cherries are actually both fruits, that I feel they belong together. Or maybe, quite simply, it's the flavor combination of these 2 ingredients that makes them perfect (and simple finish) for any meal. It can be paired with a sorbet or ice cream, depending on your mood.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
- 1/2 cup whole almonds, skin-on
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, sifted
- 1 pound or 3 cups whole cherries, preferably Bing cherries, washed, dried, cut open and pitted, but left somewhat whole
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 cup Grappa, plus a splash to finish
- 1 pint lemon sorbet
Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and the almonds. Stir to coat the nuts with the butter. Add the ground cinnamon and toss to coat. Toast until fragrant. Transfer the almonds to a bowl and set aside.
Return the skillet to medium heat and allow it to get hot again, about 1 minute. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and toss in the cherries. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon sticks. Cook for 1 minute, stirring so the sugar dissolves, then remove the skillet from the heat. Carefully add the Grappa and gingerly return the skillet to the heat. Step back a little as the alcohol may cause the pan to flame slightly. Stir and continue cooking until the liquid becomes somewhat syrupy, an additional 1 to 2 minutes Remove the cinnamon sticks.
Arrange the cherries in 4 to 6 bowls, top with almonds, a splash of Grappa and a generous scoop of lemon sorbet. Serve immediately.