Let’s face it. While known for their deliciously sweet and tart flavor, cherries have a notoriously short season. Perhaps this makes them all the more sweeter, but we can’t help but fly into a frenzy once the season hits. In fact, Bing Cherries, which are the classic ruby reds, just came into season this month and are available until August. Another variety that’s sweeter, plumper and juicier than its counterpart are the Rainier Cherries, which will arrive in June until August. Yellowish with a slight red blush, these are so tasty you might want to eat them straight from the bowl!
There’s no denying that once cherries start showing up in farmer’s markets and local grocery stores, it’s time to hop onto the craze and take full advantage of cherry picking season. Eat them fresh, bake them into desserts or turn them into jams; there are so many different uses for them. So how do we love our cherries? Let us count the ways.
Bake them – What better way to feel at right home than with some fresh baked cherry pie and cobbler? Our Cherry Crumble Pie is a twist on the American classic and boasts a crisp, golden brown topping. For those who are more of the cobbler-type, the Apricot, Cherry and Blueberry Cobbler also makes a popular choice. (Fun fact: Pie contains a top and bottom pastry layer, while cobbler only contains a top pastry layer.)
Cherryade – Forget lemonade for a second. Cherryade is just as cool and refreshing and is the perfect way to take advantage of this season’s fresh cherry picks. Cherry limeade is also a popular way for enjoying them in drinks. Make it into a mocktail for the kids or add a splash of vodka for the adults.
Compote – How’s this for going full throttle cherries? Our Bing Cherry Compote recipe calls for cherry cider, Dried Bing cherries, fresh cherries and frozen cherries to create an almost minimalistic dish with maximum cherry flavor. Compote is easy and inexpensive to prepare and does well on its own or as a dessert. Top it off with whipped cream for some extra fun.
Cookies – For those who want to enjoy cherries all year round, dried cherries are an easy alternative. Sweeter and richer in flavor than fresh cherries, dried cherries go well as a snack or baked in desserts, such as these Cherry Hazelnut Cookies.
Cover them in chocolate – There’s something romantic and intimate about chocolate-covered fruit and we are not limited to just strawberries. Chocolate-Covered Chilean Cherries make a great treat and taste doubly sweet when shared with that special someone. Make them with any kind of cherry you like, but the Chilean variety are the ripest during the holiday season.
Dressing – To make a appetizing dressing, all you need are great ingredients and a base to bind it all together. Dried Rainier cherries lend themselves to our Dried Rainier Cherry and Chestnut Dressing to create a lovely topping for a hearty salad.
Dessert – One of our favorite parts of a meal, dessert provides endless ways to have your cake and eat it too. Banana, Cherry and White Chocolate Cupcakes are a mouthful of freshness and taste great after a meal or even to start off the day. For a warm dessert, persimmons happen to be in season and go into a delicious recipe, Persimmon Baked Pudding with Tart Cherries and Hazelnuts.
Relish – Did you know that cherries also go with meat dishes? The tart and sweet flavor of cherries beautifully enhances the savory flavor of our Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Cherry Relish. How’s that for a Sunday supper?
Salad – You don’t need many excuses to toss cherries into your salad, but we’ll give you a couple anyways. Any dried fruit is a welcome addition to salad, right? Created with an Asian flair, our Cherry Salad is a lovely way to enjoy your fruits and vegetables. If you’re looking to add some protein to the mix, the Smoked Turkey Salad with Bing Cherries and Hazelnuts will taste delectable on its own or layered into a sandwich. Who’s hungry for lunch?
Skincare – We’re pretty sure you know how good cherries are for your health. But did you know that they are also great for your skincare? Think of it as food for the skin. Blend cherries and yogurt together to form a paste and massage it all over your face and neck. This helps in removing dead skin cells while nourishing the skin. Wash it off when you’re finished to reveal a healthy glow.
What are some other ways you like to use cherries? Are you excited for cherry season? What kind is your favorite?