Pit the cherries and add them to the saucepan. Add the sugar, Kirsch (if using), lemon juice, cornstarch, and water. Stir to combine and place over medium-low heat. While stirring regularly cook for about 2 - 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a deep baking dish (20 cm x 25 cm or 8-inch x 10-inch). Set aside for 10 minutes for cherries to cool slightly.
Make the coconut crisp. In a bowl, stir to combine desiccated coconut, sugar, brown sugar, all-purpose flour, almond flakes, and grated lemon zest. Add the cold butter cut in small cubes. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until there are no lumps or chunks of butter left and the mixture is crumbly.
bake and serve
Spread the coconut crisp with your hands evenly over the cherries in the baking dish. Place the baking dish with the Coconut Cherry Crisp on a sheet pan. Place in the preheated oven on the middle rack. Bake for 40 minutes at 180 °C / 350 °F. Remove the baked Coconut Cherry Crisp from the oven and leave to cool slightly, then serve warm or at room temperature with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.TipIf you feel like the Coconut Cherry Crisp is browning too quickly on top, then cover it with aluminum foil after 20 minutes of baking.