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Sour cherries outside my window. Any good recipe ideas?

I have a sour cherry tree right outside my window where I work and I'd LOVE to pick some and cook something up! Also, I'm a huge fan of mixed drinks, so if anyone knows how to make a sour cherry syrup, that would be awesome. Thanks!

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  1. I love cherry clafoutis. I don't pit the cherries as I find the dish bakes better for some reason. But you need to warn your guests!

    Cherry Clafouti
    2 cups cherries, stems removed
    1 cup full fat milk
    1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
    2 tbsp sour cream
    1/2 cup whipping cream (35%)
    3 eggs
    1 egg yolk
    1/3 cup sugar
    2 tbsp flour - I use whole wheat flour but all purpose will do
    Pinch of salt
    butter, for baking dish
    icing sugar for dusting

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    Butter an 8 by 11-inch oval baking dish or gratin dish. Wash and dry cherries and place fruit on the bottom of the baking dish.
    Heat the milk and scraped vanilla bean in a small saucepan almost to a boil.
    Remove from heat.
    When milk has cooled slightly but is still warm add the sour cream and whipping cream. Stir well.
    Whisk together eggs, egg yolk and sugar until well blended.
    Whisk in the flour and salt. While whisking gently pour milk mixture over egg mixture. Blend well. It will be liquidy.
    Pour egg mixture through a sieve over the fruit and into the baking dish.
    Bake clafouti until it’s set and puffy, about 30 to 35 minutes.
    Let cool slightly and serve warm.
    Dust with icing sugar.

    3 Replies
    1. re: GRobin

      Thank you! Your recipe looks terrific! I'll also admit to being a bad Chowhounder yesterday... I forgot to look up past posts on sour cherries before I posted (sorry!). I've found some terrific threads, so unless people have other new recipes, I'm happily immersed in sour cherry information :)

      1. re: GRobin

        Your post is several years old, but I wanted to thank you nonetheless. This recipe looks great, and I gave it a try tonight. The clafoutis is cooling now and it's beautiful. Hopefully it tastes just as good :)

        1. re: ChristinaMason

          This was good. I preferred it fully chilled, when it took on the texture of cheesecake, rather than warm, when it tasted vaguely scrambled eggy.

      2. Don't know if you found this in your past searches, but there is a recipe for sour cherry syrup in the NYTimes right now. Wish I had some sour cherries to make it!

        1. Here's a good crisp recipe:

          * Exported from MasterCook *

          Peach-Cherry Cobbler

          Recipe By :McCall's September 1993
          Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :
          Categories : Pies

          Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
          -------- ------------ --------------------------------
          3 3/4 pounds peaches
          2 cups sour cherries -- fresh/pitted or frozen/pitted
          1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
          3/4 cup sugar
          2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
          1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
          2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
          3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
          1/2 teaspoon baking powder
          1/4 teaspoon salt
          3/4 cup cold unsalted butter -- in bits

          1. Preheat oven to 350~F. Peel and slice peaches 1/4 inch thick. In large bowl, toss fruits and lemon juice. In small bowl, mix sugar, flour and cinnamon; add to fruit. Toss. Pour into 13 x 9" baking dish.

          2. Make topping: In bowl, mix dry ingredients. With pastry blender or two knives used scissors-fashion, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Crumble over fruit by pressing crumbs together to form some big and some small clumps.

          3. Bake 45 minutes or until bubbly and browned.

          Makes 12 servings.

          McCall's September 1993

          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

          1. Oh! I am SO jealous. I have a hard time finding sour cherries in Washington...

            Anyway, I love making fruit dumplings with sour cherries:

            2 cups fruit
            water to cover fruit
            sugar to taste
            1 - 2 Tbsp cornstarch (mixed with some water)

            1 c flour
            1/4 c sugar
            1 1/2 tsp baking powder
            1/4 tsp salt
            2 Tbsp butter (cold)
            1/2 c milk
            1/2 tsp vanilla

            Simmer fruit, water, sugar, and cornstarch in medium pan about five minutes.

            Meanwhile, sift together dry ingredients. Cut in butter. Add milk and vanilla; stir until just combined. Drop dough by tablespoons into fruit. Cover and steam about 20 minutes.

            1. Here's a mixed drink recipe for you (and I'm jealous you can do this and I cant btw!): Sour cherry cordial! You take as many cherries as you can, de-seed them, blend them evenly, then add to a container with about a quarter quart of vodka (you can up or decrease the alcohol content, but it should be a quarter of the volume), then add about a cup of sugar. Let sit for 24 hours, then strain to remove any chunks. However, let the pits stay in the bottle, they will enhance the flavor! Then, water down if need be, otherwise serve it up as is! You can also add sparkling water to make spritzers (I never do!)

              1. Sour cherry pie with good vanilla ice cream is one of the world's 10 best desserts, IMO.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Joebob

                  I agree, although I would probably put it in the top 5, maybe even top 3. LOVE sour cherry anything, but there is just something about a good sour cherry pie that hits all the right notes for me.

                  1. re: biondanonima

                    Possibly the best sour cherry pie I ever ate was one I made from a recipe in Gourmet (I think); it called for an ENORMOUS amount of vanilla--maybe a tablespoon. My God, was it ever good.

                    1. re: Amy Mintzer

                      Not that it will do me, here in Hawaii, any good but LET'S FIND THAT RECIPE!

                      1. re: Joebob

                        You can find that recipe on epicurious. It's called "Old Fashioned Cherry Vanilla Pie." It was in the July 1997 Gourmet magazine and actually calls for 2 tablespoons of vanilla. I only use one though and it's delicious! Hint hint: it can be elevated to devine by subbing half the cherries with peaches.

                        1. re: clamscasino

                          Here is the link on Epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                          This is pretty much exactly how I make my sour cherry pie filling, only I don't use cinnamon and I use 1T. of vanilla and a splash of spiced rum. Perhaps next time I'll try doubling the vanilla instead...

                2. Cold sour cherry soup is very refreshing and a great light starter to a hot summer night's meal. Very Hungarian, this recipe is from my grandmother, who always served cheese blintzes as the entree following the soup.

                  Serves 4-6 people
                  2 lbs. sour cherries, pitted
                  3/4 cup sugar or to taste
                  1 T almond extract, Frangelico or almond liquer
                  1 cup sour cream

                  Add sugar to cherries in about 6 cups of water, simmer for 10-15 min till cooked, but not falling apart. Taste before you take off heat, adjust sugar if necessary. Strain liquid, let cherries and liquid refrigerate. Just before serving, add almond flavor to liquid, stir in sour cream. Taste again for sweetness. Add cherries to mixture, Refrigerate, serve in bowls, additional sour cream on top is optional.

                  1. Galleygirl's "tart" (which is actually a cake) is excellent made with sour cherries: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/281699

                    1. It is not syrup but after picking tons of sour cherries in Northern oregon this year and making pie, jam and IC sauce I had about 20 oz left so I pickled them. Next year I am going to Pickle tons! If you like sour cherries you may like this it is great for when you have a small or large amount as you can refrigerator pickle them I used this recipe from David Lebovitz- plus I added a few cinnamon sticks star anise and allspice berries.Try googling Pickled cherries for more inspiration.
                      Pickled Sour Cherries

                      Adapted from a recipe at Chez Loulou

                      1/2 cup (125ml) white vinegar

                      1/3 cup (180ml) water

                      4 ounces (115g) sugar

                      20 black peppercorns

                      2 bay leaves

                      1/2 pound (225g) sour cherries, rinsed, stems clipped in half

                      1. Bring vinegar, water and sugar to a boil, until sugar is dissolved.

                      2. Remove from heat and add the peppercorns and bay leaves.

                      3. Prick each cherry with a pin and drop them into the hot liquid.

                      4. Pour the contents into a clean jar (I pour boiling water into it, or run it through the dishwasher, then let it dry first), cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

                      It’s best to let the cherries sit at least one week before serving. They’ll keep in the refrigerator for at least one year.

                      Did you find a syrup recipe? When I make syrups I generally just add fruit and sugar- boil and strain! (then with the leftover strained part mix with plain yogurt an turn into popsicles!)