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Baking/cooking with sweet (not sour) cherries

TerriL Jun 24, 2013 07:24 PM

I have a few pounds of assorted (bing, Rainier, etc.) fresh, sweet cherries that I'd like to do something with. The threads I've found here are mostly focused on sour cherries. Any ideas? Thanks.

  1. k
    kitchengardengal Jun 26, 2013 12:41 AM

    I can my extra cherries in a light syrup with some almond extract. Makes cheater maraschino cherries.

    I always make a sweet cherry pie when they're in season. I use Joy's recipe with tapioca in the filling.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kitchengardengal
      TerriL Jun 26, 2013 06:25 AM

      Hi kgg,

      Do you have a recipe to share for canning your cherries? Thanks.

      1. re: TerriL
        kitchengardengal Jun 26, 2013 05:18 PM

        Yes, TerriL, it's from BHGs 'You Can Can' book.
        Pit 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. of cherries per pint jar.
        Make light syrup - Heat 4 cups water and 1 2/3 cups sugar in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves.
        Using 1/2 to 2/3 cups syrup per each 2 cups fruit, combine pitted cherries and hot light syrup in a large pot, heat to boiling and remove from heat. Add almond extract to taste, a teaspoon or two.
        Pack hot sterilized jars with cherries and syrup, leaving
        1/2" headspace. Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath for pints, 20 minutes for quarts.

        1. re: kitchengardengal
          TerriL Jun 26, 2013 07:35 PM

          Looks great -- thanks!

    2. h
      hungryjoanne Jun 25, 2013 08:22 AM

      I use sweet cherries when making clafoutis - tons of recipes online for that, and it sounds like some "purists" like to bake the clafoutis without pitting the cherries - say the pits lend an almond flavor to the dish. I say that's a great excuse not to bother with the pitting - just let your guests know the pits are there!
      I also bake cherry pie with sweet cherries - mmm... getting hungry just thinking about it. Can't wait until our cherries are ready here in Ontario!!
      I've also had lovely salads with rainier cherries - one memorable one was on grilled watemelon with watercress (or maybe mache) & cherries - can't remember the dressing, but it was subtle - maybe a light vinaigrette with some creme fraiche added?
      Have fun, and bon appetit!!!

      1. r
        rjbh20 Jun 25, 2013 07:54 AM

        Set the wayback machine to 1966 and do Cherries Jubilee.

        1. Becca Porter Jun 25, 2013 07:16 AM

          Cook's Illustrated has a good recipe for sweet cherry pie. It incorporates plums for tartness. It's delicious.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Becca Porter
            biondanonima Jun 25, 2013 08:10 AM

            I made this pie last summer and wasn't thrilled - it was better than the usual sweet cherry pie, but still not anywhere near as good as sour cherry pie.

            1. re: biondanonima
              Becca Porter Jun 25, 2013 03:11 PM

              I agree that sour cherries are far superior for pie making. However, sometimes you might need a recipe for sweet cherries...

            2. re: Becca Porter
              treb Jun 25, 2013 08:45 AM

              Please note, CI will charge you to get to their site for recipes.

              1. re: Becca Porter
                Antilope Jun 25, 2013 08:49 AM

                Here's the Cooks Illustrated recipe on another website. I haven't made it.

                sweet cherry pie

              2. Antilope Jun 24, 2013 09:35 PM

                We had some baskets of dark sweet cherries from the supermarket. We had eaten some, but the cherries had been in the fridge about a week and some were starting to look a little wrinkly. I didn't want to lose them, so I made a cherry pie. Wow, was it good. I had to Google for a while to find a sweet cherry pie recipe, most pies are made from tart cherries. Only used 1/2 of sugar for 4 cups of cherries.
                Dark Sweet Cherry Pie
                4 cups sweet cherries, cut in half and pitted
                1/2 cup cold water, (add more as needed, maybe another 1/2 or 1 cup as it boils away)
                3 Tbsp cornstarch
                1/2 cup white granulated sugar
                1 Tbsp lemon juice (I used bottled)
                1/2 tsp cherry extract
                1/4 tsp almond extract
                Add sliced, pitted Cherries to saucepan. Mix water and cornstarch and add to saucepan. Add sugar and lemon juice to saucepan.
                Simmer while stirring for 10 minutes. Add more water as needed. When finished there will be a thick sauce, like a can of cherry pie filling.
                At the end of 10 minutes, remove from heat and stir in the cherry and almond extract. I had not planned to add the cherry extract, but I saw it while getting the almond extract from the cabinet. I thought, why not and added it as insurance. The final pie tasted really good, so I don't know if it was the cherries, the extract, or a combination.
                I made the pie later, so I stored the cooked cherry filling in the fridge.
                Place in 9-inch single crust pie shell (unbaked) and cover with lattice crust or use a double crust (I used the lattice top). I didn't warm the filling.
                Bake at 350-F for 60 minutes, or until crust is done.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Antilope
                  TerriL Jun 25, 2013 07:09 AM

                  Thanks -- this looks really simple and good. I might do this, and then try cherry ice cream or frozen yogurt.

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