1 can or jar (12 to 16 ounces) pitted sour cherries
in light syrup or water; or 1 1/2 cups of
pitted fresh sour cherries
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cup up in pieces
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
1 recipe Crunch Topping (see below)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Put aside an ungreased 8x8 square inch cake pan. Drain canned cherries, then spread out on paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut the butter into flour mixture with 2 knives, tossing pieces with the flour mixture to coat and separate them as you work. The largest pieces should be about the size of peas and the mixture should resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Work quickly. Do not allow the the butter to melt or form a paste with the flour.
In another bowl mix together the yogurt and almond extract. Add to the butter-flour mixture and stir with a fork just until the mixture clumps together to form a soft dough. Spread the dough in a thin layer in the ungreased cake pan. Scatter the cherries evenly over the top of the the dough.
Sprinkle the Crunch Topping over the cherries. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean about 30 to 35 minutes.
Place pan on a wire rack to cool. Cut to serve the cake from the pan. Or loosen the edges with a knife before serving turning the cake gently out onto a plate. Then cover with a serving plate and gently turn both plates over together. If you store this cake overnight the almond flavor will develop more fully. But cover the cake loosely or the topping will lose some of its crunchiness.
Crunch Topping: Put 3/4 cup of toasted chopped almonds, 1/3 cup of all purpose flour; 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar, 4 tablespoons of butter cut up in pieces, into a small bowl and work with your fingers until well blended. The mixture should be lumpy.