Friday, July 15, 2011

Freezing Cherries

Clarkdale Fruit Farms has been at the Greenfield Farmers Market the last two Saturdays with both tart and sweet cherries for sale. They thought they would have some more tomorrow as well, but it will most likely be the last of the them. Get there early if you want some!

Tart cherries are fantastic for pie. If you don't want to bake in the heat, freeze some now to make pie in the fall. You'll need around 2 quarts of cherries for a pie.

To freeze cherries:
1. Pit the cherries. You can do this with a sharp knife and/or your fingers, but if you're going to do very many I suggest you pick up a cherry pitter. I have an inexpensive handheld one that pits one cherry at a time; they also come in version that pit several at a time. Make sure you do your pitting over the sink or in a large bowl, as the juice splatters and stains.

2. Drain off extra juice in a colander (down the drain, or else drink it; there won't be a ton).

3. Pack the cherries gently into quart size freezer bags. Distribute the cherries so they form a somewhat flat package. Label and freeze.

You can bake the cherries without thawing, just allow a little more time in the oven. A little gentle massaging of the frozen package should loosen them up fairly well, and they can be further separated in a bowl.

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