Cherries are the first members of the stone fruits to show up at the farmer's markets and supermarkets here in New York City, and it means that we're officially in deep, humid, sticky summer. They're delicious in all their forms: sour, sweet, and those perfect yellow-and-red mottled Rainier cherries that taste just like ripe peaches. But as with every summer fruit, you can get a little bit over excited about their arrival, overestimate your consumption of them, and find yourself with a whole bunch of cherries rapidly losing steam in the depths of your fridge.
Don't worry. Cherries are a surprisingly versatile ingredient. You can, of course, put them into a classic cherry pie, but beyond that, cherries stand up nicely to heat and add a tangy, bright pop to savory dishes. You can roast them, fry them, stir-fry them, and dehydate them. Here are a few ways to use up all those cherries.
Easy never tasted so awesome.
It might feel odd to throw cherries into a hot skillet, but add a little butter and some jam, and what you have is a quick version of cherries jubilee. The sauce goes particularly well on ice cream, like in this recipe for Stir-Fried Cherries with Chocolate Chip Cones, but you can also experiment with drizzling it over Greek yogurt, or even a fresh slice of olive oil cake or pound cake.
Brandy (or Bourbon) Them
Cherries are particularly good vehicles for flavoring alcohol, and for slowly soaking up alcohol in a jar fo later use. Soak them in bourbon and sugar and then keep them in your fridge for up to six months. Boil brandy and sugar and then pour them over a jar full of cherrries to make the upscale maraschino-like cherries of your dreams. If you want, you can even freeze your brandied cherries and then dip them in chocolate for cherry cordials. Not a fan of bourboon or brandy? You can also flavor a neutral spirit like vodka with fresh cherries.
Cherries are excellent roasted with meat, particularly with pork. Try them in this Pork Tenderloin with Roast Cherries and Shallots and you can see how the tangy, sweet cherries play off the shallots for a complex, lovely accoutrement. They're also great mixed into a salad with grilled chicken or paired with roast duck.
You can make cherry jam or pickled cherries to preserve them, of course. But another way to keep cherries around is to turn them into candy—dip them in a hot sugar syrup and let that hardy to make a sweet summer treat.
Need more cherry inspiration? Check out our best cherry recipes here.
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