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Jun 4, 2013 09:29 AM

Using sour cherries (split from San Francisco Bay Area board)

What are y'all making with your sour cherries score?

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  1. I have three batches of "boozy" cherries going: rye, bourbon and Luxardo. They should make for excellent cocktails down the line.

    I'm never certain about the etiquette of linking a blog here, but if anyone wants details:

    2 Replies
    1. re: absc

      I am planning to preserve some boozy cherries myself this year - I can't wait for the season to arrive!

      1. re: absc

        I used to make brandied cherries!

      2. I made a cherry pie from Marion Cunningham's Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Pitting cherries is a pain, but for the "king of pies," it's worth all the effort. I didn't take a photo before I cut the pie.

        14 Replies
        1. re: Philip

          If you want to reduce the pain, get a plunger-action cherry pitter / stoner with a feed hopper and output bin.

            1. re: foodeye

              foodeye: Thanks! I'm not ready for a spread in a cooking magazine, but it tastes great.

              Robert: Thanks for the tip. I use a manual cherry (olive?) pitter.

              1. re: Philip

                The ones Robert describes are worth it, even if you only use them once a year.

                1. re: wally

                  Seconding this. I tend to preserve my sour cherries in alcohol, with the pit and stem, but for the cherry chutney we make, a plunger-action cherry pitter is a necessity.

                  1. re: absc

                    Or watch Dr. Who, which is what I do. =)

            2. re: Philip

              Can you post the proportions of the filling? I made one last night too and while delicous, I think it can be slightly improved. I used the Chez Panisse recipe. I was out of kirsch and that was probably the big difference.

              Shocking how different a fresh cherry pie tastes from a canned cherry pie. I also try and tell myself that there isn't such a big difference but there is. They really taste nothing alike.

              1. re: JudiAU

                The recipe I use calls for 4 c pitted sour cherries, 1 c sugar (though I tend to use slightly less since most fillings are sweeter than I like), 1.5 T flour (I up it to 2 T) and 1/8 t salt.

                1. re: Philip

                  Hum, flour. I've never tried flour. CP is pretty similar but uses tapioca. I had sworn off cornstarch with cherries and I have to say the tapioca worked quite well. But the real issue I think is that I probably had Morellos instead of Montmorency like I've had in the past. Not quite as tart and thus too sweet. If I get Morellos in the future I'll reduce the sugar. I noticed they were less translucent and should have asked the variety.

                  Also, I think 4 cups of fruit even for a smallish standard pyrex is kind of shabby. I need at least 6 cups for a small pie.

                  1. re: JudiAU

                    I always use 6 cups of sour cherries for a standard pyrex pie plate, with usually around a cup of sugar and a touch of lemon juice (less sugar for Morellos, although I rarely bake with these - I love to eat them plain so I never have enough for pie!). Usually they throw off enough juice that I have a little bit of overflow. Tapioca is my thickener of choice - 4 tablespoons is just about right for 6 cups of fruit.

                    1. re: biondanonima

                      My recipe is like yours, but with corn starch as a thickener and a tsp. of pure almond extract.

                  2. re: Philip

                    I baked a mini pie yesterday with sour cherries I froze 3 years (!) ago. First time trying cherry pie and it was delicious! Used 1 cup cherries, a scant 1/4 cup sugar, 1 T. flour and about a teaspoon of kirsch.

                    1. re: emily

                      Baked 2 more pies, comparing some new Montmorency sour cherries I picked up yesterday and the frozen Morellos. The latter was the clear winner, with a much more prominent and compelling "cherry" flavor.

                  3. re: JudiAU

                    I add kirsch to my boysenberry pies a la Chez Panisse Desserts - I think it noticeably improves the pie.

                2. Hungarian cold sour cherry soup ("Meggyleves"), obviously. My cousin made a delicious version and I snarfed up two big bowls of it. There's a recipe in George Lang, Cuisine of Hungary.

                  Cousin's version, from her mother, uses cream instead of sour cream and she pureed half of the cherries after they were cooked. A classic of Hungarian cooking.

                  1. I like galleygirl's tart (actually a cake) made with sour cherries:

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      Same here, every year.

                      I also always do a cherry cobbler.

                      The rest of the cherries, I pit and freeze, usually with maybe a tablespoon of sugar. I'll make them into a cherry sauce for pork tenderloin. It would probably also work with duck, but that's not something I am good at cooking.

                      Then I always use the last of the frozen cherries in something to bake for Christmas morning.

                    2. I always make David Lebovitz' sour cherry jam. And last year I made a wonderful almond cake with sour cherries baked into the top. Perhaps it was the famous plum torte from the NY Times but with cherries instead of plums.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: stak

                        sour cherry pie with an almond oatmeal crisp top - yum

                        1. re: stak

                          Was it the Marian Burros plum torte? That doesn't have almond in it. But I was just wondering how her recipe would work with sour cherries. Would you have to add more dugar? Any advice?

                          1. re: Hansel

                            Hmm, I guess it wasn't the Burros cake after all. Or maybe I am mis-remembering the almond part. Or...I think maybe what I did was substitute ground almonds for part of the flour. Shoot, wish I could remember, as it was really good! I don't think I added extra sugar for the cherries. The cake part is sweet enough that the tart cherries were a nice contrast.

                          2. re: stak

                            Sorry, meant sugar, not dugar. Getting used to new phone