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What to do with 2lb of cherries

Aside from eating them in one sitting, any suggestions of what to do with 2lbs of yummy, red cherries?

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  1. cobbler
    ice cream
    pair with a pork dish

      1. re: Ida Red

        I second the clafoutis idea. love that stuff.

          1. re: Mawrter

            Does anyone have a favorite clafoutis recipe? I have about 10lbs of Ranier Cherries, and am eating as many as I can fresh, but two people can only eat so many cherries every day...

            1. re: ExercisetoEat

              Cool, I had no idea there were so many other clafouti fans out there! I use Julia Child's recipe:

              Preheat oven to 350°

              1 1/4 cups milk
              1/3 cup sugar
              3 eggs
              1 Tbsp vanilla extract
              pinch of salt
              1/2 cup flour
              3 cups pitted cherries
              Another 1/3 cup of sugar

              Put everything but the last two items in the blender and blend at top speed for one minute. Pour 1/4 inch of batter into a pie plate or baking dish and place on a stove burner on medium heat for a minute or two to set a bit. Add the cherries, sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar, and then the rest of the batter. Smooth the top and bake for about an hour until it's puffy and browned, and a knife in the center comes out clean.

              1. re: BobB

                Wonderful. Thank you! I'll give it a try this weekend. Any tips on how to pronounce clafouti correctly?

                1. re: ExercisetoEat

                  Just like it looks: Cla as in chlamydia, fou as in fool, ti as in darjeeling. The French (whence it comes) accent the last syllable, but we Americans throw the accent wherever we darn well please!

                2. re: BobB

                  BobB, Have you tried this with sour (pie) cherries? If so, do you adjust the amount of sugar?

                  1. re: kkbriggs

                    I haven't, they're very hard to get fresh, even at farmers' markets, and on the rare occasions I do get some I make either a traditional pie or a cobbler. I'm sure they'd be great in a clafouti, and yes, I would probably increase the sugar a bit, maybe to 1/2 cup sprinkled on.

                  2. re: BobB

                    So according to Wikipedia I am baking a flognarde, not a clafouti - mine with blackberries is in the oven right now :)

          2. Home made jello. I just made some and it is mind-blowing good.

            Sprinkle one cup of cherry juice with 1 packet of gelatin
            Bring another cup of cherry juice with one cup of pitted cherries to a boil
            Add to gelatin mixture. Sweeten to taste with sweetener of choice. I left unsweetened.
            Place in individual serving cups and chill.

            Mouthwatering juicy. Maybe better than fresh.

            2 Replies
            1. re: rworange

              rworange, I never would've thought to make jello. Question, perhaps silly, do I use bottled cherry juice?

              1. re: dpnpt

                Use any liquid you think would go well with cherries. I had a bottle of Crystal Geyser 100% juice carbonated cherry cranberry soda. I didn't like the taste of it as a beverage, so I used that.

                I wasn't sure if there was two cups liquid in the bottle ... there was ... but I was prepared to make up the difference with some cabernet I had leftover.

                So pretty much anything that would pair with cherries. I think regular cherry juice would be great. Or for those that miss fake jello, regular cherry soda.

                This worked out well since I bought some cheap cherries for $2 a pound that were not primo, but were outstanding in the jello.

                Previous experiments in jello
                Strawberry Merlot "jello"

                1. re: Megiac

                  I'm inspired to try one for a party tonight (I just happen to have a big bag of cherries). For those of us new to the clafoutis, how long can it sit between being cooked and being served? And I was thinking of making a slightly sweet leomn-ricotta pudding. WOuld that be good with this, or over the top?

                  1. re: misslisamham

                    I like clafoutis even more when it's cold -- esp in this weather. So for me even the day after works great. But you can easily leave at room temp for few hours.

                    1. re: misslisamham

                      I like to assemble the fruit, make the batter separately, set them both in the fridge until needed, and bake right before serving. Love them warm with ice cream.

                      I know the cherry is the traditional version, but I always do them with peaches because I am too lazy to seed all the cherries.

                      1. re: misslisamham

                        I was so totally jealous of the person with all those cherries, I initially didn't read the thread! Cherries are outrageously expensive here in France this season, 6 euros a kilo for batches that need a lot of picking over and discarding,18 euros for premium. Will just add to the clafoutology discussion by noting that as French convenience foods go, they sell frozen clafoutis mix in the frozen-food store now - pour and enjoy, even in the thick of winter. But it's not that good. Also, I suppose you know that, just as the bone gives flavor to chicken, the pit is supposed to give flavor to the clafouti cherry, but this may have been invented by a lazy cook. Anyway, refrigerate it if it cools before dessert, and enjoy. I think the lemon ricotta pudding would be overkill, too much dairy in one dessert, and gilding the lily, really. But I would like to hear the lemon ricotta pudding recipe.

                        1. re: Amanita

                          I've heard that about the pit adding flavor, as well, but I generally prefer to pit them anyway. Molly Katzen suggests adding a bit of almond extract when using pitted cherries to help replicate the pits. Just tried the Joy of Cooking clafouti recipe this weekend and liked it better than Molly Katzen's, though I'll have to make some changes because the recipe was too much for my 9.5 inch pie pan (it called for 10 inch).

                          1. re: Laurella

                            I'm trying out the Joy of Cooking clafouti recipe this week.

                            I don't have a 10 inch pie pan, do you think it would be possible to use a 10 inch springform instead? Maybe lined with some foil or parchment?

                            1. re: QueenB

                              That was my other option, as I, too, have a 10 inch springform, but I worried about leakage. I'd definitely line it, since you might otherwise get leakage at the beginning.
                              I found that using a 9.5 inch pie pan (maybe mine wasn't 'deep dish' enough?!), it took far, far longer to cook than the instructions suggested. This may be because I used frozen cherries (our season in Washington hasn't started yet). I thawed and drained as instructed, but didn't pat dry. I don't think they added that much more liquid, but maybe that was teh issue.
                              Next time I'm going to use 9.5 pan again but reduce eggs by one, reduce sugar to 1/2 cup (it was too sweet for me the first time), halve the cherries instead of leaving them whole and maybe not use a whole pound (I just like it better this way), reduce flour to 2/3 c., add about 1/2 tsp almond extract and add a bit more salt than recipe calls for.
                              All of this said, I really did like the recipe as written in many ways. It had that flan-like texture that corresponded well to my memory of eating clafouti in France (and also this Breton dish called far breton which uses prunes instead of cherries). My husband loved it as written, but he has more of a sweet tooth than I do and didn't crave more balance.

                              1. re: Laurella

                                oops, forgot to mention that I'd reduce the milk also to 3/4 cup (I think the original recipe calls for 1 cup. If it called for 3/4 cup, I'd reduce to 2/3 c. as I did the flour). I had to doctor a Fanny Farmer Dutch Baby recipe in a similar manner to fit a smaller pan and it did work out quite well.

                              2. re: QueenB

                                I'd use a ceramic or enameled cast-iron casserole dish if I were you. Three or four inches deep. I'd avoid metal.

                                1. re: Amanita

                                  Thanks Amanita, I'm cooking it in a 10 inch cast iron skillet...that's the closest thing I had. Nothing glass or ceramic. Looks like I'm going to have to make another kitchen cookware purchase soon!

                                  1. re: QueenB

                                    Just keep in mind that the cast iron might have a slight reaction with the juice of the cherries. I don't know if the cherries coming into contact with the cast will change color, but they might taste a little strange. Also, I wouldn't let the clafoutis sit in the skillet once it is done. Again, the acid in the cherries might pit the cast iron. Good Luck!

                                    1. re: QueenB

                                      That's interesting! How do you make lasagna? I can't live without a ceramic lasagna pan, and that's probably what I would make a clafoutis in. Mmm.

                                      1. re: Amanita

                                        I have a 9x13 glass baking dish that I make my lasagna in. Its a bit too big for the clafoutis.
                                        The cast iron worked pretty darn well.

                                  2. re: QueenB

                                    I use my springform pan and cast-iron skillet for clafoutis all.the.time.

                                2. re: Amanita

                                  Amanita...when I read the post from the person with the 2lbs of cherries, I was jealous too! The price is insane in Texas too! Rainier cherries are $6.99 per lb. the reds aren't much cheaper at $4.99. wonder what causes the price to be so high, I would think there would be a good crop this year. I'm making the clafouti as I type...well...not really but I'll get back to it shortly.

                            2. Cnerry Crisp

                              (I do this off the top of my head so sorry if this seems a little disorganized.)

                              Halve the cherries and remove the pits. If these are sweet cherries, you don't need much sugar, perhaps 1/4 cup. Toss with 1/3 cup of cornstarch. If red cherries, then add about 1-1/2 cups of sugar (depends on how sweet you like things.) Also toss with 1/3 cup of corn starch. You add a bit of vanilla, lemon juice, nutmeg, or all of them.

                              Place the cherries in a glass pan or pie dish. Make a crumble topping out of 1 cup of oatmeal, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 stick of melted butter, with a couple of tablespoons of flour. Mix it with a pastry cutter or your fingers. Then top the cherries.

                              I'd bake it at 350 for about 40 minutes -- check it and see if the topping has browned and how runny the cherries are. You might need a baking sheet under the dish, depending on how deep it is. Serve warmish with ice cream or whipped cream.

                              1. Seems like a crime to cook them if the cherries are ultra fresh and crunchy - the texture is going to be lost. If they are that good I would say go for eating them fresh at one sitting.

                                Otherwise if they don't have that snap you can do cherry pie, I suppose, as well as cherry preserves to top on jam or ice cream.

                                23 Replies
                                1. re: notmartha

                                  Another good use for prime-time crunchy cherries is to put them in a canning jar, cover with brandy, add a teaspoon of sugar and put them in the back of the fridge ... come Christmas ... lovely brandied cherries and a warm memory about sunny summer days.

                                  1. re: rworange

                                    That is a great idea and the perfect method for making brandied cherries. No heat=crunchy cherries, even brandied.

                                    1. re: rworange

                                      Oh - that sounds good. Do I need to pit them first?
                                      Just got 4 pounds of ultra fresh cherries from Costco, so I will have try that!

                                      1. re: notmartha

                                        Nope. Absolutely don't pit or they go mushy.

                                        1. re: rworange

                                          Does the canning jar need to be sealed, or can it be a leftover jar with a top screwed on tightly? If the latter, I'm doing this as soon as I get some brandy!

                                          1. re: JasmineG

                                            Nope. I use the same jars year after year. Just screw tightly ... and fill to the top with brandy. I don't allow any space. I fill to the top, add the sugar and then screw on the top and put in the fridge. I do this in the sink since obviously a bit of brandy overflows.

                                            I turn the jars once a week until the sugar fully disolves.

                                            1. re: rworange

                                              I may try this with something other than brandy. I have a bottle of Crown Royal on hand that no one ever drinks. Wonder if that would be good?

                                              So, do you pit them later then? Or just serve them with pits and spit them out when you eat them?

                                              1. re: QueenB

                                                Eat and spit.

                                                Yeah, I've used a whole lot of different liquors. Brandy pairs the best but they were all good. The only thing that jumps to my memory was the Hangar One orange vodka (absurdly expensive for this type of thing). The orange/cherry thing was nice, but I still preferred the brandy. Usually it is average brandy like E&J. More expensive didn't up the wonderfullness.

                                                Not cherries ... but when blackberries are in season, filling a jar with blackberries and brandy makes the most equisite blackberry brandy. All that is left is the shrivley blackberry with seeds, so those get tossed ... but oh that blackberry brandy ... it cheers me considerably when I get a cold in the wet winter months.

                                                As far as cherries, I've played with different sweetners ... like different types of honeys. A little sugar works the best. It doesn't distract from the cherry wonderfulness. Sugar isn't necessary, but I prefer a little bit ... not so that it is noticable, but it brings out a touch more of flavor.

                                                As far has cherries ... bings, brooks and oh ... those white cherries ... not Royal Ann's the other ones are good. If using white cherries, just for cosmetic purposes, don't use bruised cherries. The brown spots detract froom the look.

                                                BTW, take the stems off ... it makes things bitter ... I thought that might be attractive.

                                                1. re: rworange

                                                  The Ranier cherries? Those are so good.
                                                  I've got bings. Thought I'd make a couple different small jars. Maybe one brandy, one vanilla vodka, one crown royal.
                                                  The blackberry idea is great too. Next time I get to Costco, I'm buying the blackberries again if they have them.
                                                  Thanks for all the information!

                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                    Do you sterialize the jars?

                                                    I was thinking of using those airtight plastic snap-it containers instead. Think that may work. Had to have my hubbie dig through our cupboards for the brandy - fortunately there's a huge bottle that's unopened...

                                                    1. re: notmartha

                                                      Considering the alcohol content, I doubt you have to sterilize.
                                                      However, I may be in the minority of that opinion.

                                                      1. re: notmartha

                                                        No. I don't sterialize ... between the alcohol and the refridgeration ... well, I'm still alive. I just wash out each year. Don't use plastic. It breathes and I don't think it would work.

                                                        QueenB ...

                                                        Yep, Rainer. Hmm ... vanilla vodka sounds good. I may give that a try this year. The thing with the blackberries is to use good tasting blackberries. Garbage in ... garbage out. There's this place in SF that sells these mind-blowing sweet arapaho blackberries that results in the most amazing blackberry brandy.

                                                        For some reason, I've never had much luck with strawberries. The brandy isn't all that and the strawberries disintegrate and look ugly. Blueberries ... not so good either.

                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                          The blackberries at Costco are really good. I've already bought them once and made a cobbler out of them. I've never made infused liquor before, with the exception of vanilla extract, but I want to start trying more.
                                                          I'm really excited about starting these cherries when I get home. What's the minimum to let them soak? I'm not sure I can wait until winter!

                                                            1. re: rworange

                                                              Three jars in the fridge: vanilla vodka, crown royal whiskey and brandy. Can't wait to dig in. Bet it's great over ice cream.
                                                              How else do you like to use these?
                                                              Thanks again for the idea.

                                                              1. re: QueenB

                                                                I got a small experimental batch in the fridge. I used snapware, so that's absolutely airtight. But I put in a little bit of madagascar vanilla bean in addition to the brandy.

                                                                Will report in about a month to see how it went. If it's good, that will be a great option to preserve fresh cherries so I won't miss it so much during winter.

                                                                1. re: notmartha

                                                                  Seriously, if that is plastic, the cherries are higly likely to rot. You really need glass. I tried something similar and ruined a batch.

                                                      2. re: rworange

                                                        Hey, thanks for saying this about the stems, I was wondering. I'm going to do this as soon as I can buy some brandy!

                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                          I've just tossed my jar in the fridge - picked blackberries yesterday: 3 cups for clafouti, 2 1/2 cups for cheesecake, all the gorgeous ones that were left for breakfast & the others in brandy. I had a couple inches and some not-quite-ripe apricots left over so they went in as well. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

                                              2. re: rworange

                                                Try those brandied cherries in a clafoutis - top it with some creme freche... add some chocolate shavings...

                                                1. re: rworange

                                                  yeah! cherries in armagnac! this makes a great sorbet as well.

                                                  1. re: rworange

                                                    I have to report back that marinating the cherries in brandy worked extremely well. I had them with 1/2 of a vanilla pod, in the plastic snapware container and they turned out just fine.

                                                    Used 1/2 marinated, and 1/2 cherries for the clafoutis and it was fab! I think all marinated would have been too strong.

                                                  1. re: dhedges53

                                                    I would make cherry jams/jellies. I am prejudice, I have a hobbie of making jams/jellies.
                                                    what variety are they? Bings I hope.

                                                  2. I would freeze some and use through out the rest of the summer... makes great smoothies!

                                                    1. I like Cherry Cobbler, I prefer a biscuit type topping over a crumble type topping for cherries. The Fog City Diner Cookbook has an outrageously good Polenta-Buttermilk cobbler that is meant for peaches, but is a very good match for cherries too. I'm sorry I son't have access to the recipe right now, but if someone is interested I will post it later.

                                                      1. cold cherry soup--pit cherries,add yogurt and seltzer blend--delicious on hot days in summer(add a bit of honey for more sweetness if desired)

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: marlie202

                                                          I am in Cherry Heaven with all of these ideas. Thanks to the chowhounds for taking this subject and offering creative ideas for my 2lbs of cherries. The clafoutis was a first for me and I absolutely loved it. Am headed to the market for more cherries -- damn the expense (an outrageous $8/lb, but still less than the ones Amanita found) -- to make the brandy. Bravo!

                                                          1. re: dpnpt

                                                            Cherries are my favorite fruit. It is insane how much I pay for them, but I can't help it...they're just too good!

                                                            1. re: dpnpt

                                                              Just fyi, the quality of the cherry doesn't matter a whole lot in the end ... more the variety. One year Safeway had this end of the season sale where Cherries were $2 a pound and I enjoyed them immensly at Christmas. So you might wait till prices come down for the brandied cherries.

                                                              Sometimes I use CJ Olson cherries from Sunnyvale Ca which are in my top ten all time food greats. However, it seems a shame because ... well, they are so wonderful fresh. Brandied they are good but the difference isn't as pronouced.

                                                              Soft, early season cherries like tartains I don't like as much ... but I don't like early season cherries in general ... so that might be it.

                                                          2. Ice Cream
                                                            Cherry Pie
                                                            Cherry salsa to add on top of chicken or seafood

                                                            1. I make fruit crisps all year long with the best fresh fruit. I use the small throwaway loaf tins, but the fruit with a little sugar, lemon juice, and flour, top with favorite crisp topping and freeze. Then when I want it just bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes and have the best fruit desserts all year long. Also makes great gifts.

                                                              Like the idea, of freezing the fruit, can use in smoothies, or just eat frozen.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: paprkutr

                                                                What to do with 2lbs of cherries? Silly question. Have a pit spitting contest!

                                                                1. re: greenstate

                                                                  Yeah, I don't really bake with them unless I have a *lot*. I like them raw and plain, or maybe over vanilla ice cream, perhaps drizzled with balsamic or chocolate.

                                                              2. you could sit them in rum for a few days and make a really nice cake,or just eat them and get a nice buzz,he,he,he...make jam to do this u need a type of sugar called pectin,icecream....you could dry them aswell which is really nice,but dnt have a bulls breeze on how to do it..!!!

                                                                1. I second the 'eating in one sitting' approach, though one must be prepared for gastrointestinal efficiency afterwards.... still, it's worth it. :-)


                                                                  1. 1) Hungarian cold cherry soup

                                                                    2) Sauce for duck breast (use some red wine)

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                                      Chocolate ganache cherry tart.
                                                                      Mmmmmmmmmmm chocolate and cherries!

                                                                      1. re: hungry_pangolin

                                                                        The Hungarian cold cherry soup reminds me of my childhood. My Hungarian grandmother made it with sour cherries. Just picked up a 10 lb. vat of frozen cherries and looking for recipes besides pie and cobbler. Do you have a recipe for the soup?

                                                                      2. A recipe I read in Vegetarian Times last summer... sooo good!
                                                                        Fresh Cherry Bruschetta!!!
                                                                        Brush some baguette slices with olive oil (I favor the roasted garlic flavored olive oil for this), and grill them for a few minutes on each side, until they are a little crunchy. Spread with soft goat cheese, top with chopped, pitted cherries and chopped pistachios and a little black pepper. Yum!

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: hollyeve

                                                                          Oh - I love that idea! I'm going to try that this weekend.

                                                                        2. I was at a bridal shower and they had cherry sandwiches. I think it was cherries chopped, some cream cheese and finely chopped pecans. There may have been something else, but over all it was a sweet tasting spread. It was interesting, but I didn't like it on white bread (I do not care for white bread.) Maybe something more substantial, like pumpernickle.