Monday, June 13, 2011


Sweet cherries
We love to go cherry picking every year.  We really like to go to Levering Orchard, just north of Mt. Airy, NC. Tart cherries are awesome, but need to be used quickly. They have a higher water content (read: more mushy) than sweet cherry varieties.  The tartness creates a much better jam and pie, in my opinion.  Nothing like a tart cherry pie. Of course you can use sweet cherries in pies, too, but it won't have that classic tang!

Large bowl of sweet cherries
I made jam with the tart cherries right after we arrived home, then I started pitting the rest to freeze.  I find the best way to freeze them it to pit them, place them on a cookie sheet and freeze.  Once frozen, stick them into a freezer bag where they won't stick together because they are already frozen!  I use this method for freezing strawberries, too.   This is important with the tart cherries because they are a lot juicer and will form a huge lump if not frozen individually first.  Then, you can use them straight from the bag to make pies, smoothies or even cherry clafouti. 
Tart Cherries - you can see how juicy they are!
Tart cherry Jam
Pitted tart cherries ready for the freezer

I had to freeze the tart cherries because hubby's favorite pie is tart cherry pie and he is out of town. I don't think it would go over well with my baking his favorite pie while he was out of town!  Tart cherry season only lasts a few weeks, so if you want tart cherries, you've got to pick them fast! Happy eating!

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