You’ve probably heard the buzz about sour cherries and how they’re one of the most potent superfoods on the planet, but you might be a bit confused with how to actually eat them. They aren’t like sweet cherries that you can just pop right off the tree and into your mouth! That will only leave you with puckered lips and an upset stomach.
We’ve put together some simple recipe ideas for making use of your sour cherry harvest so that you can enjoy all the incredible health benefits of this tiny, superpowered fruit. Out of the way, Flintstones chewables””these tangy cherries are just as healthy and don’t have that chalky vitamin texture.
Pectin-Free Sour Cherry Jam
This 3-ingredient jam is super simple to make, but the trick is to get the consistency just right. Since you can only really tell the consistency once it cools, you can use the frozen plate method to check it as you go along. Put a plate in the freezer when you begin, and then in a saucepan, combine 2 cups of finely chopped, pitted sour cherries, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Bring the jam to a rolling boil before reducing the heat to medium, stirring constantly, until thickened””about ten minutes.
When you’re ready to check the consistency, plop a spoonful onto the ice-cold plate. This will immediately cool it down! Tilt the plate slowly, and if the jam runs right off, it needs to be thicker. If it doesn’t budge, then it’s too sticky and will be hard to spread. If it moves slowly, then you’re in the Goldilocks zone””it’s just right!
Sour Cherry Jelly
To make jelly, which has no fruit chunks, you need to start by making pulp-free juice. Start by adding a gallon of washed, ripe sour cherries (unsliced and pits intact) into a saucepan and then crush them with a potato masher. Add 1 cup of water, bring it to a boil, simmer it for ten minutes, then let it cool. Strain it with cheesecloth until you end up with at least 3 ½ cups of cherry juice, and then throw out the remaining pulp and pits.
To make your jelly, add 3 ½ cups of juice into a pot with one ¾ ounce package of pectin. Cook it on high heat, stirring constantly, and then add 4 ½ cups of sugar. Bring it to a rolling boil for one minute, remove it from the heat, skim off the foam, and then ladle it into sterile jars. Pop those lids on, give the jars a hot water bath for five minutes, and you’re good to go!
Sour Cherry Syrup
There’s a reason they call this stuff “simple syrup!” Making syrup is one of the easiest ways to make use of sour cherries, or any garden fruit for that matter. All you’ve gotta do is rinse, pit, and chop up 2 quarts of cherries, add it into a saucepan with 2 cups of sugar and the juice from half a lemon, bring it to a boil, and then simmer the mixture on low heat for half an hour. Strain the syrup through a sieve to remove the chunks, and it should store in the fridge for one full week. Serve it with club soda for a tart summer Italian soda, or serve it on top of ice cream for a tangy dessert!
Sour Cherry Galettes
A galette is kind of like a single-serving pie that doesn’t require a pan. You make little slices all around the edge of the crust, so you can fold them toward the middle, to prevent the filling from leaking out. From there, you brush the pastry with egg whites and a sprinkle of sugar, then bake it on a cookie sheet in an oven preheated to 400 °F for about half an hour or until golden brown.
To make your filling, add 2 pounds of pitted, sliced sour cherries into a bowl with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, â…“ cup of sugar, a pinch of salt, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Toss it up until the cherries are coated and then plop the mixture in the middle of each mini pie crust. Don’t worry about folding them up too neatly””galettes are supposed to look “rustic.”
Sour Cherry Cheesecake
That’s right; we made cheesecake a health food. I know, I know””not all heroes wear capes. This one wears gardening gloves.
To make a sour cherry cheesecake, you’ll want to make a fruit sauce that you can pour onto the top and swirl around a bit to make it look fancy before baking. Make the sauce by adding 3 cups of sliced, pitted cherries, â…“ cup of sugar, a few pinches of cinnamon and cloves, and a little bit of salt into a saucepan. Cook for five minutes, then remove from heat and pummel the fruits with a potato masher.
Next, take a few spoonfuls of the liquid from the pot, put it in a separate bowl, and whisk in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Once it’s thickened, add that back into the saucepan and mix it all together. Let it cool down; it should have a thick, almost jammy consistency. Now it’s ready to be poured onto some cheesecake and popped in the oven!
Hey Edmonton, want to start growing your own fruit trees at home? Check out our Grow Store, or visit us in-store at Salisbury Greenhouse! We’ve still got curbside pickup and home delivery options available if you’d like. Just give us a call, and we’ll be happy to make special arrangements!