It’s fresh cherry season. A season that is just too short for my liking. Each year I try to figure out new ways to preserve the harvest so I can enjoy sweet cherries all year long. Here are 10 of my favorite preservation methods:
1. Freeze – last year I picked about 60 lbs of sweet cherries. That’s a lot of cherries. Many of them were pitted (my fingers were purple for weeks) and frozen for smoothies. We just ran out, so it was back to the fruit farm this week for more!
2. Brandy – cherries soaked in brandy are perfect served over ice cream or turned into sauce for pork chops.
3. Spoon sweets – looking for something a little bit different? Turn cherries into spoon sweets and enjoy with yogurt or a cold glass of water.
4. Candy – make your own candied cherries for snacks or fruitcake season! Much tastier than the kind purchased at the grocery store.
5. Can – sweet cherries can be canned for later use. I like to add them to mixed fruit for a delicious homemade fruit cocktail, or try canned cherries found on one of my favorite sites, Simple Bites.
6. Pickle – every heard of pickled cherries? They are delicious! Try some of these recipes found over at Punk Domestics.
7. Preserves – of course, there’s nothing better than cherry preserves. Try this unusual recipe for Cherry Preserves with Honey and Rosemary from Food in Jars, or yummy Spiced Cherry Preserves from Eating Well.
8. Mostarda – is it sweet? Is it spicy? It’s both! Lather cherry mostarda on your 4th of July franks for a real treat. Find my recipe at Mother Earth News.
9. Dry – of course dried cherries are scrumptious! Use this method to dry them in your oven and then eat by the handful.
10. Maraschino – make your own maraschino cherries using this method from the University of Oregon. These maraschinos have real flavor.
Whatever method or methods you use to preserve summer’s fresh sweet cherries, don’t forget to keep track of all your projects in a Canning Journal. Download or order your own copy today.