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sour cherries

  • l

I have several quarts of sour cherries. They were fairly ripe when picked - i'm running out of time before I do 'something' with them. I was thinking of washing them, pitting and then freezing them. Will there be any negative implications to the texture of the cherries? I was thinking of eventually making some sort of jam or jelly with them, but simply don't have the time right now.

Also some of the cherries were a bit bruised (poor things got hit by hail) - I don't think there would be any impact if I kept these for the jam ~ is this okay?

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  1. They'll be fine for anything cooked. I think if you freeze them they will do better with some sugar syrup over them. I like to pit them, boil the pits with some sugar, and use that along with the cherry juice for the liquid when freezing. The boiled pits impart a nice almond-y flavor. The texture will change but if you're making jam or pie or something it won't matter.

    1. I freeze cherries on a baking sheet, and store in a plastic baggie until ready to use. They will become soft when defrosted.
      Try making a cherry vinaigrette or gastrique with some of them. Both last for weeks in the fridge.

      1 Reply
      1. re: monavano

        I did the same thing with sour cherries this year - I love them in a smoothie with some ripe pineapple!

        In the past, I've always just packed them into quarts - unadulterated - and used them for either jams or pies or other recipes - they're wonderful in place of blueberries in muffins! If that's all you're doing with them, it's fine, but if you want, say, less than a quart, you'll still have to thaw the whole container (which is why I went to the sheet pan method!).

      2. Sour cherry pie with good vanilla ice cream is one of the world's great desserts.

        1. You could also turn them into Cherry Bounce like Martha Washington would.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Richard L

            thanks everyone! I think I'm going to do a combo of cherry jam (turning them into potential Christmas gifts) and Cherry Bounce (had no idea there was a formal name for this - awesome!)

          2. I buy 10 lb. of sour cherries every July that are frozen IQF and they keep for a while in the freezer. We love cherry strudel, Hungarian cold cherry soup, cheese & cherry blintzes, put them in scones/muffins (very well drained).

            1. We used to have Montmorency (sour, pie) cherry trees and routinely froze the cherries by washing and pitting them and that's all. Our favorite way to use them was to bring a pint to a boil with a little sugar, thicken with a bit of cornstarch dissolved in cold water, and have this hot over waffles, pancakes, or French toast. Quickest way to pit them is just with a serrated paring knife---much faster than the cherry-pitter gadgets. Just wear something you plan to throw away later.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Querencia

                I actually pit them with a paper clip - if you take one and unfold the first two bends in the metal, the bend that is left is just the right size to grab the pit and pull it out. Much faster than anything else I've tried.

                1. re: biondanonima

                  that's how I pit cherries, too - and you're right, it's so much faster and easier than anything else.

                  I always buy sour cherries in bulk (these days, it's a just peck basket, rather than picking them myself and coming home with 20 pounds like I used to) and freeze most of them for pies, muffins or jams, but some I like to flash-freeze on a sheet pan and stash them for smoothies - sour cherry-pineapple fruit smoothies make a great breakfast.

                  1. re: biondanonima

                    It needs to be a big paper clip, but this is the way to go.

                2. It's sour cherry season (yea!) in upstate NY.
                  Here's my cherry pie with the first crop of the year.
                  I made from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Pie & Pastry Bible.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: NYchowcook

                    I posted an almost identical picture on Facebook yesterday - we went picking yesterday and I spent several hours pitting the 15 pounds we came home with. Then it was pie time - and I had leftovers for breakfast this morning!!!!!!!!!