I was lucky enough to get to play around with a jar of Zingerman's Italian Wild Cherries, which are being given as a prize in our Pie Bakeoff (have you voted
My original idea was to make a pie out of them, but with some careful practice recipe testing using the same volume of frozen (less precious and expensive!) cherries, I came up short. I tried a version using apples as a supporting filling, but it just didn't blow me away enough to risk baking away the entire $49 jar of cherries and dumbing it down with another fruit.
Instead, I decided to serve it over vanilla ice cream on top of an apple pie and yes, was blown away. The syrup these guys are nestled in has that wild flavor so many preserved fruits lack. The cherries themselves are small and have a great texture, nothing like that of canned cherries or frozen and defrosted cherries.
So my advice to the winners of this prize is to enjoy them slowly. Dress your pies with a few spoonfuls, stir some into whipped cream, use the syrup as a base for a champagne cocktail, or use your mixer or a strong arm to incorporate some into ice cream, then refreeze and serve as a delicious dessert on its own.
• Zingerman's Italian Wild Cherries ($49, 750g)