For Pies, Salads & Snacks: Sweet Cherries

Ingredient Spotlight

Bet you can't eat just one! Plunk a bowl of cherries down on the coffee table and they'll be gone by dinner time, guaranteed. Cherries are still a super-seasonal fruit that you can really only find in that small window between late-spring and high-summer. What are you making with cherries this year?

Sweet cherries come in two main varieties: dark Bing cherries and rosy-gold Rainier cherries. Bings have a lusty sweet cherry flavor, perfect for jams, pies, and swirling into ice cream. Rainiers are equally sweet, but with a more honey-like floral quality underscored by the creamy texture of the fruit itself. Try Rainiers in salads, with a scoop of tart yogurt, or in a dessert parfait.

Part of the reason the cherry season is so brief is because they are highly perishable. No cold-storage for these fruits! Store those cherries you won't be eating right away in the fridge and plan on eating them within a few days. Happily, cherries do freeze beautifully. If you find yourself with a bounty, pit them first and then freeze them for up to six months.

Take a look at these recipes for some cherry-licious inspiration:

Quick Coconut Ice Cream with Roasted Cherries
Almond Buttermilk Cake with Cherries
Roasted Cherry Dutch Baby with Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Sauce
Brown Rice Salad with Apples, Walnuts, and Cherries
Whole Wheat Couscous with Cherries and Arugula
Boozy Cherries: 2 1/2 Ways

More on cherries:

How to Choose and Store Cherries
Smart Designs: The Best Cherry Pitter Ever
No Cherry Pitter? Use a Pastry Tip (or Use a Chopstick!)
Washington Cherries: From Orchard to Pie
C.J. Olson Cherries: An Iconic Silicon Valley Fruit Stand

Have a good cherry recipe to share?

Related: In Season Right Now: Sour Cherries

(Image: Shebeko/Shutterstock)

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