What to do with fresh Cherries?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Ok. Local church had quite a lot of left over produce from their Bible School or whatever, posted it up onto our local fb freecycle page.

    I wasn't fast enough to get any tomatoes (don't really need them, but could can them as I have others to can anyway) or grapes.

    But I did pick up 4 pkgs of celery and 2 largish pkgs of fresh cherries. And yes, I left plenty for others........I'm actually shocked there was some still there when I got there.

    I love cherries. I've never had fresh cherries before........not even sure I like them fresh.

    Any clue what to do with them? I don't want them going bad before I can use them and tonight's menu doesn't include cherries. lol

    Celery is not an issue, just dice and freeze until you want to use it.
  2. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Do you want a recipe for pickling them? It's in my truck that husband is driving at the moment. You can probably google ways to preserve them. I'm guessing'they will be delicious preserved in jars.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Mmmmm. Cherries. Can them like any other fruit for use in pies, ice cream, etc., or dry them...
  4. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Depends on what type they are. Tart are for pies. We have a family pie that my gma used to make that I have never heard of anywhere but in the family. It is a pastry cream, like a vanilla pudding but way different than the boxed puddings, and you stir in tart cherries and top with meringue. It is incredible and I have never found anyone who likes cherries who didn't go totally nuts over it. I have a microwave version of the pastry cream that is WAY easier than the traditional recipe is.

    Sweet cherries go into other things, sauces and the like, plus are just eaten as is. Either way they can be pitted and then frozen. Put them on wax paper or parchment paper or a brown paper bag opened up on a cookie sheet. Put it in the freezer and in a couple of hours when they are totally frozen take them off the cookie sheet and put them in a ziploc until you are ready to use them.

    I have a recipe for homemade maraschino cherries that are actually edible and not those nasty ones you get at the store. Well, 2 recipes. One is with alcohol and one without.

    You can also put them into a container with vinegar and let it sit for a few weeks in the fridge. Then use for salads, basting pork, etc...

    There is also a recipe for a fruit 'compote' where you soak different fruits in brandy (I usually use rum or half rum half vodka instead because we don't really like brandy). You can serve this on cakes, ice cream, etc... and it is wonderful though not for the kiddies. It keeps pretty much forever. My aunt used to have this big glass jar and she would put whatever cherries or berries she had in season in the jar and keep it covered iwth brandy. When she served it, WOW! I used to get a small amt of it as a kid and it was about the only alcohol I liked. Not sure why, but it was just amazing. She had a friend offer her $100 for a mason jar of it one year. She taught that lady how to make her own instead. I know for at least several years she just kept it full in the cellar or in the summer if it got hot she put it into the fridge until the weather cooled.

    I can provide you with recipes tomorrow if you want. Mostly you can freeze them and then put them in recipes later if you want.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You can also dry them and they are amazing. If you don't dry them in the oven at 200 degrees you might need to cut them in half or in quarters or else they may mold. Once dry they are great in oatmeal cookies, esp with white choc chips, or in granola, or toss a handful into yogurt or oatmeal for a great breakfast.
  7. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    My vote is... if they are "sweet" cherries, can them.
    If "tart", make pie filling, then can that. Don't have to make pie with it - cherry pie filling goes good on ice cream, or over brownies...
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    They are sweet cherries..........and I don't have time to can them. I don't think they'll hold until next weekend either. I handed my tomatoes over to easy child to can because I ran out of time to do it myself.

    I'd freeze them, but Susie.....my freezers (both) are FULL. I couldn't get a cookie sheet in one if I tried........I have issues fitting a freezer bag of something in them.

    How long would I have to dry them at 200 degrees? I'm wondering if that would take less time than my dehydrator because I'm wanting to dehydrate mashed potatoes this week. :)
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The amt of time to dehydrate depends on how thick and juicy what you dry is an how big it is. I know people who leave things all night but they do this a TON and they know that their oven will maintain at the right temp for the whole night. few people have the experience with their oven to do that. I would do it during the day and check it every 3 hrs at first and then when it started looking close I would check more often.

    I forgot you had a dehydrator. I would use that as they are far easier to control and do not have the heat fluctuation that a reg oven has. Borrow one from the girls if you need to. Or send them home with the girls to freeze in their freezers.

    Our heritage is German and Native American on that side. I have zero clue how the pie came to be. Not sure if it was a mistake, closely held secret, or someone just lost the original they cut from a boxtop eons ago. I collect cookbooks and often read them like novels and have NEVER run across anything like this pie.

    The recipe seems easy enough, but I simply cannot get the traditional filling to set up right. I have real problems with any pudding type recipe that is cooked on a burner. I have zero clue why as I vastly prefer the cooked homemade to the instant box when it comes to pudding. A few years ago I got a copy of "Dessert in Half the Time" and it has a recipe for Pastry Cream that is very very close to the recipe for this pie filling. It is also vastly easier and faster.

    This pie is unique. And yummy. And easy to mess up. My uncle once told his new wife that it was a crust filled with vanilla pudding that had cherries stirred in. She used instant vanilla pudding and giant Queen Anne cherries (VERY sweet) and put it into a graham cracker crust. Very much NOT what any of use were expecting.

    As for cherry pie filling, YUM! If you want a fancy looking but super easy dessert, buy a package of cream horns and then cut them into sections. I cut them at the line between each swirl. You end up iwth cross sections of pastry filled with the cream. Lay those on their sides and spoon a bit of cherry pie filling (or any other flavor) on top of each slice. It doesn't get much faster, but it does get rave reviews. At least I always have.
  11. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If you don't have time to can them (and I would be making some spicy cherry salsa - one of my favs), I would dry them. I usually eat a small bowl of oatmeal with a few dried cherries for a snack once a week or so - I juice or smoothie in the am but love oatmeal!

    Cherries are also wonderful with pork. You could add the cherries to a crock pot with a couple pork tenderloins or pork roast, add a little red wine and a package of dry lipton onion soup mix - YUM! Another thing would be to take some shallots, peel but leave the root on then quarter them (by leaving the root on the quarters stay together), add some diced carrots, a few diced red potatoes, and the cherries. Mix all that together with a little thyme and rosemary. Add some chicken (I do bone out skin on but remove the skin before eating since it really flavors the dish) on top and drizzle with some reduced balsamic all over and add some herbs, s&p to the chicken and bake till done. It sounds a little weird, but it really is good. I giving you the recipe by memory, but if you want it, I can actually check my recipe binder. I use seedless red grapes but I think it would be good with the cherries in their place. It's a fall fav at my house.