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quiet1

Making the most of cherries?

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We lucked out on a good deal on some very tasty cherries recently and they are sitting in the fridge waiting for me to do something with them. One lot I plan to make a sort of compote with, to go with Greek yogurt, but I also want to make some kind of dessert. I'm drawing a blank on inspiration as to what, though - I tend not to like cherries in pie, so I've been thinking more a cobbler/crisp type concept, but that still hasn't grabbed me as the perfect thing to do yet.

So I thought is throw it out here on egullet and see what folks like to do with fresh cherries. I do want to keep it pretty simple - my kitchen is pretty basic at the moment and my wrists are not up to whisking tons of egg whites or whipped cream by hand. (I may also have some stash leftover of good quality dark chocolate for baking that a guest recently brought from Switzerland.) It has also been pretty warm here and the kitchen is not air conditioned, so I don't fancy fighting with anything super temperature sensitive, and I think also because of the heat I want to stick with something a bit light feeling - a rich chocolate layer cake with cherries and ganache, while likely quite tasty, seems too heavy for the season.

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This is probably not what you want to hear, but anyway: I think cherries are the only fruit that I will not cook or bake into any dish. I've tried, but I remember always being disappointed, not necessarily because this dessert didn't turn out well but because I knew the cherries would have been better eaten "straight." If you have good, fresh cherries, I vote for eating them out of hand. They simply cannot be improved upon. 

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Many years (and pounds) ago I often made a simple bundt cake with chocolate chips (or chunks, depending on what I had around), walnuts, and cherries. The cherries were canned (i.e., pie filling), but I suspect fresh would work just as well, if not better--perhaps just add a bit of honey to the batter. I still have the age-yellowed recipe--probably from the Detroit Free Press some time in the early to mid-70s--but it's available online here.

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What type of cherries do you have?
Cherry ice cream would be nice. Or cook up the cherries, thicken with some cornstarch (or your favorite thickner) and top ice cream, yogurt, custard, etc. with your cherry sauce.

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Sweet cherries I reserve for out-of- hand eating.

Sour cherries: ice cream, sorbet, cobbler, crisps, sauces for savory dishes.

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Lynne Rosetto Kasper often advocates putting cherries into a jar of brandy and storing them that way for some months. She says they may a wonderful dessert: either eaten out of hand or used as topping on ice cream or the like, and cherries add a nice flavor to the brandy. If that sounds interesting to you and you want more details that nobody else provides, I'll listen again and summarize the information here. She just responded to a call about that on her radio show, The Splendid Table, within the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately the show's web site doesn't summarize the call-in section, so it's a bit of a search to find calls later.

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Clafoutis is good cold, if you can cope with some whisking of two whole eggs.  Would you say it sounds too heavy?

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Clafoutis is good cold, if you can cope with some whisking of two whole eggs.  Would you say it sounds too heavy?

 

I second clafoutis, and have several good, proven recipes.

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I second the cherries in brandy.

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Cherry frangipane tarts are great- they work very well with almonds.

Cherry fool would be interesting.

Failing that, use a little pectin to set a cherry compote and use it in a cake.

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We make  cherry syrup here for the kids to drink but also cherry jam and   cherry liqueur and wine. 

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I second clafoutis, and have several good, proven recipes.

Could you please post one of them? I have some cherries on hand too, and would like to make it.

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Just visited a friend over the weekend who bought about 10 lbs of cherries as she got a good deal and promptly gave me a bag! We were both talking about pitting some and freezing them for having in yogurt during the winter and she was getting ready to make frangipane for assembling with cherries into cherry almond rustic tarts/galettes. Sounds delish!

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Körsbärs likör.

500 ml pitted cherries

40 cl vodka

200-400ml of white or cane sugar.

 

Pour everything into a jar  and put on a lid.  Leave the  jar in a sunny spot  for a week. Shake daily.

 

Put the jar in a dark cold spot for 1-3 months.

 

Strain the booze and pour it up in bottles. Save the cherries.

 

Leave to mature for 1-2 months.

 

Cocktail berries.

 

300 ml sugar

300 ml water.

leftover cherries

 

Cook up the syrup and make a simple syrup. Lay the cherries in a clean sterlized jar.  Pour over with the simple syrup and  put on a lid and leave  for 1-2 month in dark and cold place.

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I suggest cherry wine, or vin de cerise, which is a French country wine served as an aperitif. The summer-y fruitiness of this wine is much appreciated as a prelude to fall or winter dinners. I make Georgeanne Brennan's recipe. Here:
http://www.epicureaders.com/recipe_0105_cherrywine.html
A fifth of wine is basically a standard 750ml bottle. The wine doesn't have to be great, but do avoid a wine that is too tannic or otherwise very flawed. It should be drinkable as is.

 

Now that you've reminded me, I should put up some of this wine myself while cherries are in season.

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