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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.