Sour Cherries

Sour cherries are used primarily for processing; cooking and baking. Sweet cherries ( the kind you buy fresh in stores, in season ) are commonly eaten fresh as whole cherries. Sweet cherries do not make good cooking cherries because when they are heated they loose much of their flavour. Sour cherries cook well and are great for canning, baking and sauces and make awesome pies.
 The following is a quote from Dr. Russel Reiter who is a prominent researcher at the University of Texas Health Science Center and has pioneered many of the studies on tart cherries.
"There's a tremendous body of evidence suggesting that cherries are one of the most nutritious fruits you can eat. Tart cherries not only contain significant levels of antioxidants, but they provide a unique combination of antioxidant compounds that are not found in other fruits. The antioxidant compounds in tart cherries appear to have potent anti-inflammatory benefits, which may be particularly valuable for aging baby boomers suffering from joint pain."
Studies suggest that incorporating more antioxidant-rich cherries in your diet may help reduce the risk of many diseases associated with age, including arthritis and gout, as well as heart disease, diabetes and certain kinds of cancer. And it's so easy to incorporate cherries in your diet everyday. They're an easy swap in recipes where you'd normally use blueberries or cranberries whether they are fresh, dried or frozen. 


Traditional Cherry Pie

4 Cups frozen unsweetened tart (sour) cherries

1-1/3 cups sugar

3 Tbs quick-cooking tapioca or cornstarch

Tsp Almond Extract

Pastry for a 2-crust, 9 inch pie

2 Tbs butter


Combine cherries, sugar, tapioca and almond extract in a large mixing bowl; mix well.  (It is not necessary to thaw the cherries before using.)  Let cherry mixture stand 15 minutes.


Line 9 inch pie plate with pastry; fill with cherry mixture.  Dot with butter.  Adjust top crust, cutting slits for steam to escape. (A lattice crust is also nice.)


Bake in 400 degree oven 45-55 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust.

Sour Cherry Topping

8 cups pitted sour cherries
1 1/2 cups water
10 cups sugar   
2 pouches liquid fruit pectin (certo)
1 teaspoon Almond extract

In a large pot, bring the cherries and water to a boil; boil for 15 minutes.  Add sugar and bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Boil for 4 minutes.  Stir in pectic; return to a full rolling boil.  Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat stir in extract.  Skim off foam.  Pour hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4" headspace.  Adjust caps.  Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water bath.  Yeild 11 half pints.
Good on toast, bread, muffins, pancakes, waffles, ice cream and cheese cake.

Sour Cherry Syrup

3 cups sour cherry juice
6 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 pouch of liquid pectin (certo)

Bring juice and sugar to a boil.  Stir in certo stirring constantly (skim off foam if any) and bring back to a boil and boil for one minute.  Let cool and put in containers.  (The recipe is basically the same and the cooked jelly recipe on the certo container however you only use 1/4 of the certo.)