We love local spring cherries, but our cobbler works equally well with fresh or frozen cherries. We chose easy drop biscuits for the topping since they allow the jewel-like cherry juices to bubble up around them--a great visual showcase for a simple desert. Baking the cherries first without the topping gives them time to soften in their own juices, and dropping the biscuits on hot filling helps them cook through--no soggy bottoms. Almond goes beautifully with cherries, so we use almond extract in both the filling and topping, plus a little almond flour in the topping as well.
Scant tablespoon vegan raw, turbinado or granulated sugar, for sprinkling
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven, put about a 9-inch piece of foil on a rack below it and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
For the filling: Whisk the granulated sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Add the cherries and their juices and toss to coat the berries well; stir in the lemon juice and almond extract. Pour the mixture into an 8-inch square, 9-by-2-inch round or other 2-quart baking dish. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until very hot and beginning to bubble around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. (The colder your cherries, the longer it will take.)
For the topping: While the berries cook (about 20 minutes into the baking time is fine), whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir the coconut oil and almond extract into the measuring cup or bowl with the cashew milk. Add it to the flour mixture and toss with a fork, then stir with a spatula or wooden spoon to make a cohesive dough.
Carefully remove the filling from the oven, remove the foil and give the mixture a good stir. Working quickly, drop 8 to 10 spoonfuls of topping over the filling, making sure a few of them touch the edges of the dish, sprinkle with the raw sugar and bake until the topping is golden brown and crisp and a skewer inserted in a few biscuits comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let the cobbler cool about 30 minutes, during which time it will thicken up a bit, then divide among bowls and serve.
If fresh cherries aren’t available, use 2 pounds frozen pitted sweet cherries, thawed overnight in the bag. Be sure to include any thawed cherry juice when making the filling.
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