What to do with heaps of cherries?

I have 1.5 lbs of cherries from my CSA...and no cherry pitter. What is the beat thing(s) to do with this bounty?

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paseo
paseo July 5, 2013

Sweet or sour cherries? Best to get a cherry pitter (use for olives too) and make a cherry sauce (sugar, water & lemon juice) which you can freeze. Would taste lovely in January.

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JanetFL
JanetFL July 5, 2013

Here is a link to a great dessert to try now: http://food52.com/recipes...

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Winifred Ryan
Winifred Ryan July 5, 2013

Put them in brandy or liqueur after pitting over a bottle (pop the pit with a chop stick) Enjoy come winter and have the boozy part as a drink or however you would like (could be heated and used to make the cherries a sauce.)

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Rebecca Vitale
Rebecca Vitale July 5, 2013

i bought 12lb sour cherries a week ago bc i missed the season last year and was going to make sure i got enough this time... i made a granita, a shrub, mostarda, put some in a jar w maraschino for cocktail cherries, put some in a jar w grappa, dried two pounds on a baking sheet with parchment paper in a low oven for a few hours... i pitted them all, though. using the pits to make amaretto. cherry pitter is a good tool to have, you can also use for olives as paseo said. if anything above sounds interesting am happy to give more info!

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Rebecca Vitale
Rebecca Vitale July 5, 2013

jam, too!

pierino
pierino July 6, 2013

Mostarda sounds great! Wonderful idea. I've got a ton of cherries myself right now.

Rebecca Vitale
Rebecca Vitale July 6, 2013

pierino-- what do you use in the mostarda? i got mustard oil at a place near me, but it's too oily... i'm going to order essence online but have to decide which brand (bach, flower essence, etc). i used something from the pharmacy in italy but i forget exactly what it was/prob can't get it here anyway. please let me know if you have a source! (i found an old hotline question on this but it doesn't have the information.)

Rebecca Vitale
Rebecca Vitale July 6, 2013

all right, i'll post it as a separate question...

pierino
pierino July 6, 2013

Rebecca, mustard oil features in most mostarda recipes. You may have noticed that it's always labeled "for massage use only." I asked about that at Kalyustan and they told me that it's okay to consume but that the FDA doesn't precisely agree. What you might try is a simple syrup infused with mustard powder; at least that's the route I'll be taking while stone fruit is in season. I'll probably add some citrus rind to it, trying to mimic the stuff from Cremona.

Rebecca Vitale
Rebecca Vitale July 6, 2013

right, the not-FDA-approved thing, got that... it's just i think mustard oil is not as strong as what we put into mostarda in italy. i need the essence of mustard in a little dropper bottle instead, i just don't know which one to get. will prob try bach since it comes in 20mL and is labelled for consumption. italian recipes i've seen call for 10 drops, which of this oil i bought will do nothing so i figure it has to be something more concentrated. in italy, i remember it was a super dense, crystal-clear, very sticky substance that went into the mostarda and it was purchased at the pharmacy. here is the recipe i was using recently: http://viaggiarecomemangiare.blogspot.com/2011/07/mostarda-di-ciliegie.html

pierino
pierino July 6, 2013

Rebecca, it is amazing what you can find in the farmacie in Italy! Like even whole truffles, not to mention those strange elixers...

mrslarkin
mrslarkin July 5, 2013

I made cherry-meyer lemon jam with my last batch. Delicious!

hacking a cherry pitter: http://food52.com/blog...

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bigpan
bigpan July 5, 2013

Pit them, mix 2/3 cherries with 1/3 sugar. Put in a sterile jar and cover with rum. Wait one year. Use cherries over ice cream or in a martini. Cherry rumtoft.

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amysarah
amysarah July 5, 2013

I love cherry clafoutis - really easy and delicious. Traditionally the cherries weren't pitted (supposed to add flavor) but mostly I've seen it made - and made it - with pitted cherries. Here's Dorie Greenspan's version: http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/dishing/2010/07/best_summer_des.html

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ChefJune
ChefJune July 6, 2013

Get a cherry pitter. then put those babies in brandy. They'll keep indefinitely and you can use them for so many things.

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ATG117
ATG117 July 6, 2013

cherry crostata, pie, or tart. ice cream, cherries dipped in chocolate. make a jam and use it to top yogurt, ice cream, oatmeal, a PB sandwich, pudding. a fool.

http://www.marthastewart...
http://food52.com/recipes...
http://smittenkitchen.com...
http://food52.com/recipes...
http://food52.com/recipes...

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Kristen W.
Kristen W. July 6, 2013

Rebecca V, what is a shrub?

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Rebecca Vitale
Rebecca Vitale July 6, 2013

hi kristen-- shrub is a drink made with fruit, sugar, and vinegar. very refreshing! good in hot weather. i've been making a bottle every week or so and diluting it in water. rhubarb and two types of sour cherry have been great. i live near pok pok in brooklyn and was intrigued by their drinking vinegars, so i investigated and started making shrubs at home. there are some great ones on here if you search recipes!

rt21
rt21 July 6, 2013

I love cherry sorbet and also pickles cherries ( you don't have to pit them)

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Kristen W.
Kristen W. July 7, 2013

Sounds yummy, Rebecca. I might have to do a little research on those!

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Gabriella
Gabriella July 8, 2013

Cherries are great baked in muffins and quickbreads. Maybe with a little orange zest or chocolate chips? I'd also recommend taking a baking sheet and laying them out and sticking them in the freezer and once they've frozen putting them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. They keep well in the freezer and this trick keeps them from being a frozen block when you go to use them

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Susan
Susan July 9, 2013

You actually don't need a pitter. In fact, I find it's faster to pit without one. Make a small "nip" with a paring knife on the stem end, and gently pinch the pit out. I learned this from an active 98-year-old who has a sour cherry orchard.

I'm lucky to live near Opal's cherry orchard and whenever there's a good crop I'll pick gallons and gallons to put up. I always just freeze mine-- tossed into a ziplock bag with the air pressed out-- though I love the ideas here! We put the cherries in pies (cherry blackberry is our favorite) or smoothies--they add a really nice depth to smoothies. We also just throw some unpitted in the freezer and use them for a bright, tasty snack throughout our cold, monochrome winter (I live in Wyoming)-- just lightly defrost in the microwave and eat like you would fresh cherries. (Of course, the unpitted cherries are usually a result of pitting fatigue after hours spent pitting cherries.)

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Pegeen
Pegeen July 10, 2013

Cherries jubilee. Sitting on the back step and pitting cherries is a summer tradition 'round here like husking corn. The flambé version of Jubilee is nice on a summer night... goes with fireworks and fireflies. I will try to dig out my Mom's classic recipe.

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Pegeen
Pegeen July 10, 2013

This will use up a pound of cherries or more: Cherries Flambé
http://food52.com/recipes...

Pegeen
Pegeen July 10, 2013
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Pegeen
Pegeen July 12, 2013

I just found this in my files, looking for ideas for my own cherry stash. I remember that they're delicious but pretty spicy, so adjust the number of peppers if you like.
Cherry Bombs - spicy pickled cherries from putsup.com:
http://www.putsup.com/2009/06/cherry-bombs-pickled-cherries-are-weird.html
Also a recipe on this page for tarragon pickled cherries.

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames July 12, 2013

Cherry chutney with cardamom = amazing. I made this one last summer, and found a jar last month, which I opened, and it's still incredibly flavorful: http://www.thekitchn.com... Warning, though: the cardamom tends to be strong, so next time I'll be cranking it down a bit, as I've learned that in chutneys at least, not everyone loves a bold cardamom.

Cherries in brandy with a vanilla bean, left until December = also amazing. No recipe necessary. Cover with booze and no processing is necessary, either. Use the vanilla bean for vanilla sugar when the cherries are gone. Use the boozey cherry liquid for cocktails. Both, wonderful. ;o)

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viblanco
viblanco July 12, 2013

Am I the only one who thinks you should just eat them? I just received two pounds of beautiful, sweet red cherries and I am quite sure that the will be gone after the weekend. :D Seriously, if they are sweet and delicious in their natural state then set aside a handful for snacking.

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Rebecca Vitale
Rebecca Vitale July 12, 2013

If they are sweet, I completely agree in the sense that sweet cherries are not for cooking if sour cherries are around :) I do nothing with sweet cherries except eat them fresh.

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames July 12, 2013

I made a cherry-blueberry marmalade last summer that was just heavenly in the dead of winter . . . . That said, 1.5 pounds of cherries would last about two hours in this house, in the summer (the young men being home from college), so not having a pitter, and ideas of how to use them, would be quite beside the point. "Heaps" of cherries here means 6 - 8 pounds. Or maybe ten. ;o)

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Pegeen
Pegeen July 14, 2013

I just made this tart, originally posted for peaches, with just under a pound of pitted cherries. It is about the easiest crust in the world.
Depending on size of cherries, you might need more or less than 1 lb.
http://food52.com/recipes...

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Pegeen
Pegeen July 14, 2013

And here's how to hack a tart pan for the above-mentioned tart, when a "real" tart pan isn't available, and all you have is sand in your shoes on a late summer day:
http://food52.com/blog...

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