Cherry season, that glorious six weeks of early summer when cherries overflow at local farmers markets, is almost done. According to the California Cherry Board, the week around June 20 (next week) is the end of when we'll be seeing local cherries everywhere.
By this time in the season, we've usually gorged ourselves on fresh cherries and are now looking for creative ways to cook and preserve them. We scoured the internet to find the best cherry recipes so you don't have to. Turn the page for 5 recipe suggestions.
Have you ever tried to make an entire cherry pie with fresh cherries? Don't get me wrong, they are amazing and might completely redefine the concept of cherry pie for you — but pitting that many fresh cherries is a complete pain in the ass, so much so that I can't imagine recommending it. This cobbler recipe is a nice compromise, and also uses apricots, which are totally under-used in this country outside of scones and the like.
Here's a great recipe for cherry citrus-ade, as well as a fun way to turn it boozy. There's even pretty pictures of how to serve it at a party — one of those entertaining ideas that you look at and think how cool it is and then realize you would never, ever be that Martha Stewart fabulous, but still it's a nice idea.
Of course, cherries can be used for a ton of savory dishes, and they pair incredibly well with game meats like venison and duck. This roast duck with cherries recipe, adapted by Saveur from Bay Wolf restaurant in Oakland, CA, is a fairly simple way to do a classic and delicious dish.
Here's a way to stretch cherry season a couple of months longer: Pickle them and serve them with pâté, as an accompaniment to cheese, or with roast meats. This recipe calls for rosemary and coriander, but the great thing about pickling is that you can easily swap out the herbs and spices to your tastes or to what's growing in your garden right now.
Somewhere between a crepe and a cake is the calfoutis, that wonderful fluffy eggy dessert that, while it works well with many fruits, is classically made with cherries. Clafoutis makes a great, fairly light summer dessert, but my favorite time of day to eat it is breakfast: better than pancakes, more decadent than French toast, and yet not too heavy. To me this recipe is the paragon of what cherries can be in a dessert.
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