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Sour Cherries


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I don't know what I was thinking but I bought 2 quarts of sour cherries at Reid's on Sunday.

The mere thought of pitting them exhausts me and the baby gets a manical look in his eyes every time I make a move to spend more than 30 seconds in the kitchen.

1). Do I have to pit them to freeze them?

Can I flash freeze them?

2) If I don't freeze them, what is my window for using them?

I have them safely tucked in the fridge now.

Mr. BLB will be home all day on Wednesday and we have a houseguest arriving on Thursday so the baby could be distracted long enough for me to deal with them then.

Thanks!!!

Jennifer

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1). Do I have to pit them to freeze them?
Yes.
Can I flash freeze them?
I would pit and freeze them on a cookie sheet, then transfer to a doubled ziplock freezer bag.
2) If I don't freeze them, what is my window for using them?
Honestly? About a day or two. They degrade very quickly. They will keep in the fridge a little longer than that, but refrigeration also affects the flavor.

I'd put the baby in a bouncy seat and get out the pitter. ;)

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Can I flash freeze them?

Can you really flash freeze at home? I thought this was an industrial technique of freezing things very fast at very cold temperatures that are not possible at home. Does it have a different meaning for the home cook?

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Can you really flash freeze at home? I thought this was an industrial technique of freezing things very fast at very cold temperatures that are not possible at home. Does it have a different meaning for the home cook?
I meant it in the sense of putting them on a single layer on a cookie sheet and then storing them once they were frozen so they wouldn't glop together. No idea if that was the right term or not...
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Yes.

I would pit and freeze them on a cookie sheet, then transfer to a doubled ziplock freezer bag.Honestly? About a day or two. They degrade very quickly. They will keep in the fridge a little longer than that, but refrigeration also affects the flavor.

I'd put the baby in a bouncy seat and get out the pitter. ;)

Sleeping in his swing now...Going to get started. Must remember to be more sane next time I'm at the farmer's market...

Thanks~!!!!

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They will keep in the fridge a little longer than that, but refrigeration also affects the flavor.
While this is true of some things, most obviously tomatoes, I've never noticed it with sour cherries. I've had some in the fridge since Sunday, and just ate a few, and really don't detect any deterioration of flavor. Is this a generally recognized hazard of refrigerating sour cherries? Is my palate insensitive?
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I bought 2 quarts of sour cherries from Twin Springs Fruit Farm at Dupont on Sunday. I made my cherry crisp last night and the cherries tasted great. I ate a couple of them plain and love the little pucker. If I hadn't used them in baking, I would have pitted then vacuum sealed them by that point. Supposedly the pit imparts an almond flavor if you freeze them intact.

BTW....the cherries were $4 per quart, 2@ $7.50. A full $3 less than Tiogo. Look for them opposite Tiogo.

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The sleep deprivation is getting to me...

We have a mother's helper who is also a terrific cook so I asked her make a cherry cobbler with the 2 quarts of sour cherries that I delusionally bought on Sunday thinking I would have time to do something with them.

And it is truly a lovely creation and delicious.

Except that 2 hours later, I realized why it wasn't quite right. I had wanted a crisp...

I have some of the cherries in the freezer now... Perhaps I'll try it myself when we finish the cobbler.

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Last year we picked several gallons of sour cherries at Butler's Orchard and then "flash froze" them using lots and lots of dry ice. I put a layer of dry ice in the bottom of a cooler and then poured in ALL the cherries (unpitted, washed and dried, of course). Then I broke up a few more pounds of dry ice into small blocks and spread that over the top. In about 40 minutes, I had cherries that were as hard as marbles.

Over the course of the winter, I made several cherry pies and various sauces out of them. Each time, they looked close to fresh after defrosting. While the skin had lost it's strength and the cherries appeared soft, there was very little loss of juice. I found it easy to pit them if they were still in a semi-frozen state). I think the application of dry ice is about as close as you'll get in your home to flash freezing.

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Footnote to justify stocking up if there are more to be found this weekend ( ;) ??): nutritional value of sour cherries is higher than their sweet counterparts, especially when it comes to Vitamin A, though the percentage of Vitamin C also increases.

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Footnote to justify stocking up if there are more to be found this weekend ( ;) ??): nutritional value of sour cherries is higher than their sweet counterparts, especially when it comes to Vitamin A, though the percentage of Vitamin C also increases.

Thank you! Now I can eat the rest of my cherry crisp knowing I'm doing my body good. :P

I'm going to Kingstowne today to see if I can find more sours. I'm going to stock up and freeze for later.

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Last year we picked several gallons of sour cherries at Butler's Orchard and then "flash froze" them using lots and lots of dry ice. I put a layer of dry ice in the bottom of a cooler and then poured in ALL the cherries (unpitted, washed and dried, of course). Then I broke up a few more pounds of dry ice into small blocks and spread that over the top. In about 40 minutes, I had cherries that were as hard as marbles.

Over the course of the winter, I made several cherry pies and various sauces out of them. Each time, they looked close to fresh after defrosting. While the skin had lost it's strength and the cherries appeared soft, there was very little loss of juice. I found it easy to pit them if they were still in a semi-frozen state). I think the application of dry ice is about as close as you'll get in your home to flash freezing.

Having scored a lot of cherries today, I need to freeze a bunch of them. I had read somewhere that freezing the cherries with pits imparts an almond flavor to the cherry. I take it you have not noticed this?

I'm hoping to just freeze them whole on a baking sheet in the freezer.

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Mark Toigo insisted that I take a flat, so we are swimming in sour cherries right now. Some will go into compote, some into a crisp, and remainder into another batch of cherry-almond jam. Toigo's black raspberries are unbelievably succulent - I had every intention of making a crisp with them but the kids have devoured most of them right out of the box. I also took home some salad greens and the first of the field tomatoes from Tree & Leaf. Damn, I love summer.

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We are beyond stocked up on sour/black cherries at my house at the moment. If you have any left, you could make them into a syrup. Then take two or three teaspoons of the syruped cherries and put them in a glass, add seltzer water, stir vigorously, add ice cubes, and you have a perfect summer beverage.

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Speaking of sour cherries, I bought a quart box of them yesterday from Reid's and have submerged them in Maraschino liqueur to marinate, per a suggestion made to me on the Wine/Beer forum, as a home made version of maraschino cherries for cocktail use. I also added a little bit of almond extract, for a more familiar maraschino cherry taste. They didn't have stems, however, and won't have that neon red color.

Also, a fun find yesterday was young yellow wax beans, which are required for a true three-bean salad. I'm working on that one today. I also have everything I need to make ratatouille, which I prefer to eat cold or at room temp, after it has been in the refrigerator for a day or two. I'll probably fire up the charcoal grill this evening to cook the chicken I bought from Cibola, and I'll roast the eggplant and peppers for the ratatouille on the grill and assemble the rest of the ingredients tomorrow. After many experiments over the years, I am firmly in the "cook all of the ingredients separately and combine and cook them for just a few minutes at the end" school.

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Speaking of sour cherries, I bought a quart box of them yesterday from Reid's and have submerged them in Maraschino liqueur to marinate, per a suggestion made to me on the Wine/Beer forum, as a home made version of maraschino cherries for cocktail use. I also added a little bit of almond extract, for a more familiar maraschino cherry taste. They didn't have stems, however, and won't have that neon red color.
I am going to do this with some of mine. Pitted, right?
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I can't answer the question above regarding freezing the fruit, unpitted, but thanks to Pat's retrieval of a post from Lucy's Kitchen, here's a justification for leaving the pits in cherries.

* * *

Looking for recipes that don't require gobs of butter and aren't syrup, I found its antithesis. Worth passing along if you've had your fill of pie, clafoutis, jam, tarts, crumbles, cobblers and their ilk: Chocolate Cherry Cake Squares (Gourmet, July 2003).

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I can't answer the question above regarding freezing the fruit, unpitted, but thanks to Pat's retrieval of a post from Lucy's Kitchen, here's a justification for leaving the pits in cherries.

* * *

Looking for recipes that don't require gobs of butter and aren't syrup, I found its antithesis. Worth passing along if you've had your fill of pie, clafoutis, jam, tarts, crumbles, cobblers and their ilk: Chocolate Cherry Cake Squares (Gourmet, July 2003).

Thank you and thank you. I'm tiring of crisp, so after finishing one up tonight after dinner, I'm letting those cherries linger in the freezer, pits and all. I'm going to get a pitter in the meantime and revisit the cherries in a bit.

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Being too lazy to go buy a cherry pitter, I tried the paperclip method - which worked unbelievably well. I now have a huge container of pitted sour cherries in my freezer, but am motivated to try a clafoutis after reading the Lucy's Kitchen link, if I can find a recipe. Recommendations/recipes welcome.

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