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What to do with delicious dried cherries?

I have a large bage of exceptionally good dried cherries from Purcell Mountain Farms. These are moist with a deep rich flavor--great for eating straight, but there are a lot.

Some dessert ideas I have but no recipes: chocolate cherry bread, chocolate covered cherries, adapt a chocolate cherry tart recipe made from fresh cherries? Are dried cherries just wrong for cherry cheesecake?

I have already used some in a whole wheat fruitcake loaf with organic dates and dried apricots plus walnuts--very tasty. I do not like traditional fruitcake, this is not that. The dates and apricots are also from PMF and so worth the $$--I sent my sister some of the apricots & she is loving them.

I put some in oatmeal & that was good.

Any ideas?

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  1. Don't just think of deserts... A couple of weeks ago I had some dried Door County cherries that I served with broiled pork chops. I plumped the cherries in warm bourbon and vermouth and dressed chops with them. Could have made a nice sauce just by reducing the now cherry flavored booze, and swirling in some butter. As it was the dinner turned out great.

    Uncle Ira

    1 Reply
    1. re: Uncle Ira

      Ira, your post inspired my second endeavor. I didn't have vermouth or bourbon, so I made a batch of chicken broth & more or less followed this Epicurious recipe (I added some finely diced onions & garlic, reduced the amount of balsamic vinegar, added a bit of soy sauce and used boneless chops). The sauce came out thick & delicious & complemented the pork nicely:

      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

      I love all these ideas! I'm working my way through them and will probably be ordering more cherries in order to try them all. Thanks, hounds.

    2. In addition to plain or on cereal, I really like dried cherries in oatmeal cookies (so much better than raisins) with or without chocolate chips. I also really like them in stuffing with chicken apple sausage.

      1. I LOVE dried cherries. Any recipe that calls for raisins or dried cranberries, I substitute dried cherries.

        Use them in bread pudding; they are fabulous in anything with apples and caramel. I love them with vanilla ice cream, almonds and chocolate sauce (or hot fudge). Make a sauce with them and serve over pork, even chicken. Use in granola recipes...or add to your favorite cereals.

        Here are a couple of recipes that use dried cherries with wild rice, which is a wonderful combination.

        Wild Rice Salad with Dried Sour Cherries
        1/2C wild rice
        5C chicken stock
        4 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
        3/4C dried sour cherries
        1 rib celery, diced
        1 scallion, trimmed and chopped
        Leaves from 5 sprigs parsley, chopped
        2T red wine vinegar
        Salt and pepper

        Put rice in medium pot, cover with water and swish around with your hand. Drain and repeat until water remains clear, 4 more times. Drain completely and return rice to pot. Add stock and bring to boil over high heat. Stir rice once or twice and reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover pot and cook rice until grains are swollen and tender but not blossomed, 50-60 minutes. Dran in colander and let rest, undisturbed, for 10 minutes. Transfer to large bowl to cool.

        Cook bacon in medium skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon and 2T of the bacon fat to bowl with rice. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Serve at room temperature. OR...don’t let rice cool, and serve this hot as a pilaf...yum!
        Serves 4

        Here's the other one:
        Wild Rice Salad with Dried Cherries
        2C wild rice
        6C water
        1-1/2t salt, divided
        2T sugar
        2T lemon juice
        2T white wine vinegar
        6T olive oil
        2 large shallots, thinly sliced, about 1C
        1T minced garlic
        4” piece ginger, peeled, very thinly sliced into rounds
        2C dried sour cherries
        1/2C water
        1C parsley leaves, some chopped, some left whole

        Stir together rice, water and 1t salt in medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover, and simmer until rice is tender and beginning to burst, about 45 minutes. Drain.

        Stir sugar, lemon juice and vinegar in small bowl; set aside. heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic, ginger and remaining 1/2t salt/ Gook, stirring constantly, until shallots are translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in cherries and water. Cook until cherries are plump, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sugar mixture.

        Stir together cherry mixture and rice in large dish. Cover and let stand at least 1 hour, or chill overnight. Just before serving, stir in parsley.

        Serves 12 as a side dish.

        1. I mix some dried sour cherries into my homemade apple pies, along with some chopped walnuts, and leave out the cinnamon.

          1. Good in dressings and stuffings, too, for pork, chicken or duck.

            1. Warm dried cherries in maple syrup or honey and pour over panckes/french toast/waffles

              Saute with brussel sprouts and pine nuts

              1. Make a reduction with port, brown sugar and dried cherries and serve with duck breast - mmmmmm:-)

                I also love them on oatmeal!

                1. Babette's Cafe in Atlanta serves a Dried Cherry Tart with an almond crust. The chef has given out the recipe, but it's a lot of work. We always buy them from their pantry. It's like a linzer torte but with cherries, yum.

                  1. I put some in a pan of brownies once, now DH expects to see them every time -- as you suspect, the chocolate/cherry combo is yummy.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: momjamin

                      I tried this suggestion first, momjamin, and it was a big hit with my husband as well. Great idea, will do again.

                    2. Use them in some granola. Or make some chutney.

                      1. Varka in Ramsey, NJ has a trademark Greek dessert.

                        Take Greek style yogurt, either cow's or sheeps milk, drained, and pour a flavorful honey, some chopped mint, dried cherries, and some chopped walnuts over it. Serve it parfait-style, or simply on a deep dish.

                        Fantastic.

                        1. Ive been making some greek cherry liqueur with some good dried cherries - they are incredible after being layered with sugar and soaked with vodka for a few weeks - Ive now put in some brandy, cloves and cinnamon and they should get even better - but whats great to me is that I had expected that all of the flavor would have been drawn out of the cherries - instead they are great to fish out and eat.

                          Had some dried up pound cake left over from Christmas trifle - moistened it with the half- finished cherry liqueur, mixed in some of the cherries and dolloped on whipped cream - wonderful.

                          1. I love dried cherries in scones - add a little bit of almond extract too - delicious!

                            1. Just what I was going to suggest, thewaz - scones! White chocolate and dried cherries are a delicious combination in a buttery scone. Needs no jam or other embellishment IMHO. Here's the recipe I use, from Canadian Living:

                              Dried Cherry and White Chocolate Scones

                              2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
                              12 tbsp granulated sugar
                              2 1/2 tsp baking powder
                              1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt
                              1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
                              1 cup buttermilk
                              1 egg
                              1 cup dried cherries
                              3/4 cup chopped white chocolate

                              Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or dust with flour and set aside.

                              In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg; add to flour mixture. Sprinkle with cherries and chopped chocolate; stir with fork to make a soft dough.

                              With lightly floured hands, press dough into ball. On floured surface, knead gently 10 times. Pat dough into a 10" x 7" rectangle. Cut into 6 squares; cut each diagonally in half to make 12 triangles. Place on prepared pan.

                              Place pan in centre of 400F oven and bake until golden, 18-20 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool. Delicious when served warm.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: alicat

                                Here's another scone recipe---super easy and delicious!

                                Cream Scones
                                Makes 8

                                2 cups flour
                                1/4 cup sugar
                                1 TBSP. baking powder
                                1/2 tsp. salt
                                2/3 cup dried cherries
                                1-1/4 cups HEAVY CREAM (do not substitute)
                                1 tsp. vanilla extract
                                Sugar in the raw

                                Preheat oven to 425F. Sift & combine dry ingredients in a med. bowl, stirring well with a fork. Add cherries, tossing with the fork. Combine cream and vanilla; stir into dry mixture, using the fork, mixing to a rough mass. Knead BRIEFLY (4-5 turns) on a lightly floured surface. Pat into a 6-7" circle. Brush a small amount of cream (there's probably enough left clinging to the sides of the measuring cup yet) on top; sprinkle with Sugar in the Raw. Cut into 8 wedges. Separate and place on a parchement-covered baking sheet. Bake approx. 15 minutes. When done, they should be crunchy outside and tender and soft inside. Best if eaten while still warm.

                                1. re: Anne

                                  I just made these, going in the oven in a few minutes. I used choc chips since I didn't have any white choc. I pulsed the cherries in the Cuisinart a couple times for even distribution. Mine was more of a batter than a dough, though, so I put them in a scone pan. Hope they pan out.

                              2. ONEOF THE BEST ROAST PORK DINNERS I'VE EVER HAD, HAD A WONDERFUL DRIED CHERRY SAUCE OVER IT. IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!!!

                                1. Look up some Persian rice recipes, perhaps.

                                  1. dried cherries and white chocolate chip cookies!!
                                    rice pudding with mascarpone cheese and dried cherries (presoaked in brandy)is to for.

                                    1. Build a salad dressing around them.

                                      1. Oh my gosh.
                                        I am a vegetarian and was SO missing out on wild rice soup. I found this extraordinary recipe for a vegetarian version that uses dried cranberries in it. When I ran out, I tried my dried cherries and it is DIVINE. Best wild rice soup I've ever had, even when I did eat chicken.

                                        1. I love dried cherries and have used them often in salads, such as orzo with balsamic, basil and roasted pine nutes or a chicken salad with lots of crunchy goodness.
                                          I have a truly wonderful Dried Bing Cherry & Pecan Scone recipe, I've given out here before. But also to use them in a turkey meatball recipe. Also a great use to soak them in sherry and then use them in a sweet and sour stir fry with pork.

                                          1. I made a batch of the granola from Mark Bittman's minimalist column in the NY Times last Wed. Used dried cherries, tiny dried ginger nibs, almonds, sunflower seeds, and honey in addition to the oats and cinnamon. (Also add some Guittard chocolate chips if I'm snacking on it out of hand rather than as cereal.) It's quite good, though not very sweet. Might up the sweetner next time. I also like dried cherries on a spinach salad with pecans and blue cheese.

                                            1. Use them in a sauce for pan-seared deer tenderloin:

                                              www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_vie... - 54k -

                                              Works just fine with beef, too. One of the best sauces I've ever made. Just Google "deer tenderloin with dried cherry sauce" and you'll get a ton of hits. Must be a REALLY good idea.

                                              Mike

                                              1. Add dried cherries and pecans to a chocolate chip cookie recipe. Amazing.

                                                Also, chop them up a bit smaller and mix them into a tart crust dough, maybe with some almond extract and/or orange zest.

                                                1. in a salad with goat cheese and pine nuts

                                                  1. Did anybody mention DUCK?? I just love duck breast with a cherry sauce!

                                                    1. I make a Cherry-Chili sauce for poultry (chicken or turkey, Rock Cornish game hens):

                                                      1/2 large onion, finely diced
                                                      2 sticks celery, finely diced
                                                      1 jar (12 oz) Bennett's chili sauce
                                                      1/2 cup red wine (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, hearty)
                                                      3 T brown sugar
                                                      3/4 cup dried cherries
                                                      salt & pepper to taste

                                                      Saute onion and celery till translucent and tender (not browned). Add chili sauce, red wine and brown sugar, add cherries. Simmer for 10-15 min. Pour over poultry on serving plate. Great with white/wild rice pilaf!

                                                      1. On Sunday I made a batch of Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies with Almonds. They are really good. The recipe is at Epicurious.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Candy

                                                          I make a giant pizza-size cookie with almonds, dark chocolate chips and dried cherries. The combination is fabulous.

                                                        2. Braised short ribs-- throw a handful of dried cherries into the braising liquid. Wow. Yummy.

                                                          1. Make some homemade cherry ice cream, yum!

                                                            1. oh I make my own breakfast bars, cooked oatmeal, molasses, cinnamon, honey, nuts, cherries or raisins, whatever. Bake them at 275 for about 1 to an hour an half. Slice into bars for healthy snack.

                                                              1. If I had some this morning, I would have used them in my waldorf salad. I would either substitute them for raisins or grapes, or just add them to the mix. In my breakfast version of this salad I like to use low-fat vanilla yogurt, but today I had only low-fat black cherry yogurt available. Yes, those cherries would have been perfect.

                                                                1. Salads, of course, but also couscous. Or anything with cheese.

                                                                  1. Dried cherry and shallot confit:
                                                                    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                                                                    Very tasty with this duck recipe!
                                                                    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                                                                    I made this whole meal for my now-husband at our first valentine's day together, many years ago. So... yay for dried cherries! ;)

                                                                    1. You can use them in any recipe that calls for raisins or dried cranberries.

                                                                      Also delicious soaked in syrup flavored with Kirch and served warm over vanilla ice cream

                                                                      1. I have chopped dried cherries and added them to lamb meat balls with sort of middle eastern seasonongs and served them over saffron rice

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: WCchopper

                                                                          Sounds delicious. Could you please post the recipe.

                                                                        2. Babette, how are these Purcell Mountain Farms Cherries different from the dried cherries I get at SAHADI'S or FAIRWAY?

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Fleur

                                                                            I don't know, I haven't tried those. Tell me about them. Are they available onlline? Are the cherries organic?

                                                                            These dried cherries are dark, moist, & delicious, but so far Purcell has not offered them in organic form (unlike many of their products, such as their exceptional organic dried apricots). I would be very interested to find a source for organic dried cherries of this caliber.

                                                                            Here is a link to their site:
                                                                            http://www.purcellmountainfarms.com/i...

                                                                            1. I trust that by now, the OP has long since used up those dried cherries, since this thread is 7½ yrs old. But as long as it has been revived, I will recommend Crescent Dragonwagon's Rose of Persia cake, despite her weird, made-up name: http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/...
                                                                              Trader Joe's sells the sour cherry juice but I'd recommend using the juice from a jar of their Morello cherries if you don't want a quart of unsweetened juice. Chickpea flour is also called besan and is available in Asian and Mediterranean markets, as is rosewater.

                                                                              I have not had Purcell Farms dried cherries but heartily recommend the ones available from www.apricotking.com. They are huge and quite moist, as is the rest of their dried fruit. Caveat: I'm a long-time customer. I have not gotten anything from them this year and expect results might be different now, given the severity of the California drought.