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Rainier Cherry Almond Gratin

July 22, 2010

I want to meet the person that does not love cherries.  And then I want to meet the person who does not love “Rainier Cherries”.   Americans seem to have a problem with pits, yes cherry pits and all the other types of pits.  I have a beautiful cherry bowl with saucer and sometimes the cherries in that bowl are the dessert or an anytime of day snack.   Finally the third time I bought “Rainier Cherries” this year I made something with them, the others disappeared before there was time to soften the butter.  This dessert will stop you in your tracks and fulfill your taste buds of this very special cherry (or any other cherry) and the superb taste of almond.


Rainier Cherry Almond Gratin


  • 1 lb. Fresh Rainer Cherries (rinsed, stemmed and pitted) (or any type of cherry)
  • 1 Large Lemon (juiced)
  • 2 T. Sugar (or to taste, avoid over-sweetening, the almond cream is very sweet)
  • 1 C. Almonds (ground) (do not use the same grinder you use for coffee beans)
  • 8 T. Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 T. Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 t. Salt
  • 1 C. Confectioners Sugar
  • Several Drops of Almond Extract (to taste)
  • Confectioners Sugar for dusting the Gratin




  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Butter a ceramic or glass 9″ pie plate
  3. In a heavy bottomed pot combine the cherries, lemon juice and sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring regularly for 15-20 minutes (cherries will begin to fall apart and the liquid will thicken
  4. Transfer the cherries to the baking dish and let cool
  5. In a large mixing bowl whisk the almonds and butter until smooth
  6. Add the eggs, cream, salt and powdered sugar and whisk until thick, smooth and well blended
  7. Add the almond extract and mix well to blend
  8. Spoon the cream over the cooled cherries in the baking dish
  9. Place in the center of the oven and bake until the gratin is a deep golden brown (about 20 minutes
  10. Remove to a wire rack to cool
  11. Dust the gratin with the powdered sugar
  12. Serve in wedges warm or at room temperature

(Serves 6-8)

Adapted from “The Paris Cookbook” by Patricia Wells

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