Cherry season is going strong out here, so I have been spending lots of time, waiting in line at the farmer’s market, canning and drying, and of course, eating cherries! This summer I am trying to be a bit more conscientious about eating with the seasons, so I am getting all the cherries I can before the Colorado season is up.
I used to think the idea of a cherry pitter was kinda dumb…one of those one use kitchen items that you can get by just as easily without. Now I know why people get those things…I was using a paperclip to pit the cherries and it took me about an hour to do 4 pounds. Yikes! Have any of you used a cherry pitter? Does it save any time?
Probably the most sucessful of my cherry recipes was a cherry compote, made of cherries, sugar, and a bit of lemon juice (unfortunately I don’t have a picture). The cool thing about cherries is you don’t really need to add extra pectin to get a good jam…after cooking the compote for about 10-15 min, I did a test on a cold plate and it had set just as well as any store-bought jam, and it tastes a hundred times better! Even Mike, who has never been a cherry cheerleader, absolutely loved this! The recipe I used: Cherry Preserves via Martha Stewart. I only made half of the recipe, and it turned out well. Also, watch the timing for the preserves…the recipe says it will gel after 30-40 minutes, but it only took me about 10 minutes.
The dried cherries went pretty well too. The only problem is they have to be dried more than store-bought dried cherries because there are no additives to keep them from going bad. This is kind of a double edged sword…its nice to have dried fruit without the preservatives, but they are a little more tough.
Just a reminder: Projects for the contest are due next Thursday! Also, I should probably clarify…you can pick any color/color combo that you don’t normally use for the contest. I picked hot pink, but you don’t have to.