Monday, June 29, 2009

Cherries are in Season

I received a question a few days ago about what to do with cherries. Well, here are some ideas - since cherries are now in season in Idaho.

First suggestion is a post I did a while ago - great pictures and talk about cherries: homemade-american-cherry-pie-filling

I have friends that love to dry (dehydrate) cherries. It is very easy to do - just pit them and "break their backs" by turning the flesh out so they dry better. Place them on a tray and in the dehydrator for a few hours until dry.

Next suggestion would be just canning cherries - like rich flavorful Bing cherries. You want to make sure you can the flavorful ones - not just the early cherries that don't have much flavor to them. So, how do you bottle cherries? you ask.

Well, here are some guidelines for easily canning sweet or pie cherries:

Wash cherries. Remove pits, if desired.

(My favorite method for cherries:) Raw Pack - Pack cherries. Shake jar to obtain full pack. Cover cherries with a boiling syrup (I use a light syrup - using about 9 cups water and 2-1/4 cups sugar. Boil until clear.)

Then you water bath process them (at 3001-6000 feet) for 35 minutes. If you live at a different altitude, feel free to contact me for the changes in information.

I use (sour) pie cherries for cherry pie filling. They usually come on later in the fall. I'll post the recipe tomorrow, so I don't overwhelm you with too many options and recipes at one time in the same post. =)

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