What do I do with a massive amount of cherries?
August 15, 2009 10:47 AM   Subscribe

My husband just came home with 8 bags of cherries - for only $10! Yum! But what should we do with them? Recipes, anyone?
posted by kitcat to Food & Drink (31 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Brandied cherries!
posted by PandaMcBoof at 10:52 AM on August 15, 2009

This thread may also be of interest. If it were me, I'd make lots of cherry jam. Yum!
posted by theantikitty at 10:53 AM on August 15, 2009

Cherry liqueur (1, 2, 3, 4)?
posted by codswallop at 10:54 AM on August 15, 2009

Damn, I'm usually more careful about not duplicating. I was too excited. Sorry, folks.
posted by kitcat at 11:00 AM on August 15, 2009

posted by Jon_Evil at 11:00 AM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

recipe for cherry pie:

2 quarts cherries, halved and pitted, in a saucepan with a cup of water to start. Place over stove on medium heat until cherries begin to soften, adding sugar to taste and just a tiny pinch of salt, and more water if needed.

take 1/2 cup of cold water and mix in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. add to the cherries, bring to a boil and the liquid will start to thincken. pour this mixture in your favorite pie crust, and either let cool or re-bake with a second crust (dusted with sugar) on top.

let cool until gelatenous. mmmmm.
posted by Jon_Evil at 11:08 AM on August 15, 2009

I once had a bowl of Hungarian cold cherry soup that was heavenly.
posted by Jode at 11:13 AM on August 15, 2009

posted by avocet at 11:26 AM on August 15, 2009 [3 favorites]

Pit them, freeze them, and put them in smoothies and in pie as desired. That's what we do every year with the buckets of cherries we get from my in-laws.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:32 AM on August 15, 2009

You can pit them and dry them. More consistent results if you cut them in half and take the pit out. Time consuming but awesome. Partially dry them, then bag and put in the freezer. They don't freeze hard, for some reason, so can be eaten right out of the freezer.

Cook up a cherry topping. Pitted cherries, sugar to taste, a bit of lemon juice, cooked for maybe 15 or 20 minutes, then put in the freezer. Can be used on cereal, desserts, with meat dishes (e.g., pork), or just eaten by itself.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:33 AM on August 15, 2009

How do you pit cherries? I mean, I guess I could muddle my way through it but is there some trick? Some device? Or is it just cutting them in half and removing the pit?
posted by ian1977 at 11:35 AM on August 15, 2009

I've heard an inverted funnel works well for pitting cherries - push the cherry over the funnel so that the pit ends up in the narrow part of the funnel.

Or you can buy a special gizmo if that's your thing.
posted by PandaMcBoof at 11:59 AM on August 15, 2009

Chocolate Cherry Clafoutis!

We made this a couple weeks ago and it was dee-lish!
posted by crunchtopmuffin at 12:01 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

I recently made a cherry upside-down cake, which was terrific --- a little less sweet and a little more sophisticated than a pineapple upside-down cake.

Here's the basic recipe (self-link), but most cooks can figure out the template:
- soften the fruit with some butter and brown sugar, liqueur and seasonings optional. Put this in a cake pan or ovensafe skillet.
- cover with simple cake batter. (I used a self-devised almond cake recipe; it's a basic cottage pudding cake with almond meal replacing some of the flour.)
- bake and invert.
- omg delicious.

A word: I did pit the cherries by hand, just breaking them open and removing the pit. Despite scrubbing, I had a gory purply-red residue under my nails and in my cuticles.
posted by Elsa at 12:05 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

What kind of cherry? Tart or sweet?

Tart: definitely you can pit and freeze them for later use. Pie. Nom. Pitting is easy with these cherries. You can just use a safety pin or a paperclip to scoop the pit out. Alternately, you can buy a pitter, if you tend to need to pit cherries first.

If you have sweet cherries it's a different deal, and I have no advice other than to eat them and eat them and eat them.

But do save the pits. You can make a kick-ass, microwaveable heating pad.
posted by Stewriffic at 12:43 PM on August 15, 2009

Whoops. Forgot to link to a cherry pitter. This can save your hands from the gory stain that a black sweet cherry will leave. It's fussy though.
posted by Stewriffic at 12:45 PM on August 15, 2009

Pitting cherries -- score them on one side then squeeze them -- the pit should just slide out on its own. Takes a bit of practice on how to squeeze them correctly, but after five minutes you'll have figured it out.
posted by randomstriker at 12:45 PM on August 15, 2009

I've got the Oxo Good Grips pitter that Stewriffic linked to, but if I had to buy one, I'd definitely go for the Cherry Chomper for the fun element. I know he costs more than the cherries but you'll have him for future cherry and olive fun.

Here's a product review where he gets two thumbs up.

Oh, and I would go with (1) Clafoutis and (2) Jam.
posted by essexjan at 1:20 PM on August 15, 2009

I third Clafoutis - best part is, the purist version calls for unpitted cherries (they're a little harder to eat, but supposedly add flavor.)
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:41 PM on August 15, 2009

Nostradamus would say you should make cherry jelly.
posted by dreamyshade at 2:41 PM on August 15, 2009

Yah, I didn't mean in any way to recommend a particular brand of pitter, so sorry if that's how it came across.
posted by Stewriffic at 3:12 PM on August 15, 2009

When I got a bunch of cherries, one of the projects I did was make cherry pancakes.


1) Use Bisquick mix, but use the recipe that is called "supreme pancakes," It adds a bit of sugar, baking power and vanilla to your mix. It makes them fluffier and tastier and just plain awesome.

2) Cut cherries in half, take out pit. As many as you want. Eat some during the project. Set aside.

3) Put our first set of pancakes on the griddle. Let them cook up for a second. Dot your pancake with as many cherry-halves as you want/can fit on the pancake.

4) When cooked enough on one side, flip.

5) Eat the delicious fluffy pancakes that are now dotted with delicious warmed cherries.
posted by piratebowling at 4:17 PM on August 15, 2009

Cherry salsa? It calls for tart cherries, but I think it'd be worth a try with sweet cherries as well. Maybe add more vinegar if you use sweet cherries.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 5:15 PM on August 15, 2009

Cherry Pie, it's the bomb. Didn't you ever watch Twin Peaks? Cherry pie and a cup of coffee is the ultimate diner experience. ;)

Well, for me it already was prior to David Lynch. Blueberry pie is a very close second. They both go with coffee so well. Have some pie.
posted by caddis at 6:08 PM on August 15, 2009

If you don't have any nut allergies, get some pistachio ice cream/gelato. (And here we veer off into the "crap, I can't remember the ratios" territory*, but...)

Put some cherries in a pot and cover them in red wine, slightly over the tops (Montepulciano was what I used, IIRC.)

Add sugar, a bit of cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, a light dusting of orange peel, and maybe a clove.

Boil it down slowly until it's a bit syrupy & the cherries are slightly wrinkled, adding sugar/spices to taste (When in doubt, go easy on the spices and just slowly add more sugar, since it should simply enhance the taste of the cherries).

Let the mixture cool a bit, then spoon it over the pistachio ice cream/gelato in individual cups. Eat and have distance contests in spitting out the pits. Yum.

*nota bene: I haven't made this in a while, since I am known to inhale cherries by the kilo. But you're essentially going for the 'slightly spiced wine' taste when boiling down the cherry/wine mixture.
posted by romakimmy at 6:10 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Homebrew your own Cherry Kriek beer. I used this recipe a few weeks ago and the beer is in its secondary fermenter now. It used up 6 lbs of cherries.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:29 PM on August 15, 2009

Dude, you guys are incredible! I have never, ever heard of clafoutis. Nor would I have ever thought of cherry pancakes. And the Nostradamus link is awesome. Thanks!

I think they're sweet cherries. I wouldn't really know. They taste sweet. Anyhow, I just came home with numerous pounds of saskatoon berries and raspberries too, so it's time to get to work!
posted by kitcat at 6:40 PM on August 15, 2009

regarding the cherry pitter, i have this one. it's like the gatling gun of cherry pitters.
posted by msconduct at 6:59 PM on August 15, 2009

I've never found a cherry pitter that works as quickly and reliably as a bamboo chopstick.
Remove the stem and poke the chopstick through where the stem used to be. If it's tightly bound to the flesh, the pit will pop out the other end. If it's loose, you may have to twist it back out the stem hole. Either way, it's fast, and you don't run the risk of missing any, which can happen with the more automatic methods.
posted by Caviar at 9:30 PM on August 15, 2009

Thanks for the question.
I have started a batch of cherry heering, Or perhaps just a schnapps, we shall see. We'll see if it lasts long enough to become anything other than a jar of intoxicating fruit.

I tried Elsa's recipe for upside down cake and I heartily recommend it, even with sweet cherries. Damn that's good.

I have to also second clafouti. It is a super quick and easy dessert that you can whip together in no time. Play with recipes. The best I have found (IMHO) are the ones from King Arthur flour. I am sure there are some damn fine ones from the country of origin, but I do not speak French. If you do leave in the pits, the flavor is better, but damn is it difficult to eat and please warn consumers.

If you have a dehydrator, pit them and put them to dry. My kid loves them and so do I. He calls them "different raisins". Also pit and freeze to use in smoothies (and possibly clafouti).
posted by Seamus at 10:17 PM on August 17, 2009

Anyone who makes clafouti and leaves in the pits deserves to be smacked upside the head. That's just inconsiderate.
posted by Caviar at 6:44 PM on August 23, 2009

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