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Jun 22, 2007 10:42 PM

What to do with Sour Cherries...

I have a massive wild cherry tree in my yard which is currently full of ripe sour cherries. I'm thinking maybe sundried and preserved... Any suggestions on what to do with all these cherries?

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  1. Oh, you lucky, lucky person! I love fresh sour cherries, but don't know anyone with a tree (except you - hint, hint, hint... too bad I live so far away).

    Freezing works well - pit them, spread on a cookie sheet in a single layer and freeze, then dump them a plastic bag or container to store them. I like marinating them in liqueur (vodka, bourbon, Amaretto, Maraschino liqueur, whatever), then plopping them in cocktails - beats the pants of those nasty red cherries. And there's always old-fashioned canning and jam-making.

    I'll bet if you ask on the Home Cooking board, you'll get lots more suggestions. Sour cherries are best for baking - sweet cherries get all wimpy and lose their flavour. But I bet you already know that!


    1 Reply
    1. re: AnneInMpls

      Mmm, I like the idea of alcohol preservation. Drunken sour cherries with venison comes to mind not to mention the myriad of drink possibilities. Thanks!

    2. Hungarian sour cherry soup, servecd chilled. Excellent stuff.

      3 Replies
      1. re: hungry_pangolin

        so does that have a lotta paprika in it or what..gotta love chilled soups - what's the recipe?

        1. re: damadchef

          I just made some jelly out of mine. very easy to do. and it looks and tastes great.

          1. re: damadchef

            Here's the only Sour Cherry Soup recipe I've ever used. It's from a cool little cookbook, "The 100 Most Famous Hungarian Recipes," that I bought as a souvenir in Budapest many years ago. It's easy, quite good, and refreshing...and tastes just like the chilled sour cherry soup I enjoyed in Budapest during my hot summer visit. American weight equivalents are from the book.

            500 gm (1 lb., 2 oz) sour cherries, stoned
            150 gm (5 oz) sugar
            Pinch cinnamon
            Lemon peel (I use a couple of grates...maybe an inch long each. Start with one, taste after a few minutes and add more if needed.)
            10 cl (1/2 cup) sour cream
            1 tsp flour

            In 1 1/2 litres (2 1/2 cups) water, combine cherries, lemon peel, cinnamon, and sugar. Bring to a gentle boil, then lower heat and simmer, maybe 20 -25 minutes. (The recipe just says "cook" for "some minutes.").

            Mix the flour and sour cream. Stir in to the simmered soup. Return to a gentle boil and cook for another 3 - 4 minutes. Cool to room temp, then refrigerate.

            I don't see any reason why you couldn't increase this recipe to feed however many you need. I passed a cherry tree in my neighborhood last week, and thought of this soup as I gazed, enviously, at all the beautiful fruit.

        2. I have a tree in my yard, also. I just pit them (the ones that the birds didn't take), sugar them down and add a touch of lemon juice.....put them in plastic containers, and deep freeze. Then have cherries all year long for ... whatever. To make icecream topping,
          topping for New York cheesecake, cherry pies. Have used them for making a Black Forest Cake for a special event. Makes great cake filling and coffee cake! Have used sour cherries to make delicious jam!

          Just put them into the freezer, after pitting. I use an old-fashioned hirpin inserted into the stem end and scoop out the stone. It comes out easily. I'm sure that throughout the year you will find lots of use for cherries.

          I know that cherry trees should be netted. I leave that job up to my DH....but he puts the job off until too late! The birds didn't leave us one cherry from our sweet Bing tree. They are the first ones that birds go for ... even when the cherries show only a slight bit of pink!

          1. There have been a few recent discussions on sour cherries. Here's one:

            Seems early-ish for sour cherries! Where do you live and would you like to sell some? :-

            3 Replies
            1. re: janeer

              Our sour cherries are ready for picking right now. We Love them, so all we get from our tree is going for cherry jam and into the deep freeze for future use. I live in South Jersey, in a rural area.....however, never see them for sale at any of the farm stands, nor in the grocery stores in my area. We want to keep what our tree produces, and plan on planting another S.C. tree in the fall.

              Any kind of cherries are of benefit to folks who are arthritic. Love eating them just "out
              of hand"!

              1. re: janeer

                "Seems early-ish for sour cherries!"

                I live in Manhattan and just bought some this morning at the local farmers' market. Keep an eye out. If they're not in yet, it won't be long.

                1. re: janeer

                  In the DC area they've been ripening over the past week.

                2. I am forever indebted to galleygirl and Caitlin McGrath for this fantastic buttery tart recipe:


                  You can also make albaloo polo, Iranian rice with sour cherries and almonds. I'm not competent at making it (so you're better of finding a recipe online than getting input from me), but I sure enjoy eating it!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: rose water

                    agreed,the gallergirl/sir gawain/etc. cake with sour cherries in FANTASTIC. I'm already planning on making it with some of my tart cherries (which are currently freezing on a cookie sheet in my freezer in the basement, because you gotta make hay while the sun shines!).

                    1. re: rose water

                      aggreed, just made this and posted a response on the link, thanks!