All the best fresh cherry recipes you need for making the most out of your favorite farmer's market fruit is here!
We are the luckiest people on earth. Handyman Tim's Uncle Tim owns an amazing cherry orchard out in Oregon and for the last 10+ years he's sent us an annual summer delivery of the biggest box of the most gorgeous cherries you've ever seen. This year's package weighed in at 14 pounds and was so large it almost didn't fit into my fridge. It's basically the same weight as a large Thanksgiving Turkey!
Processing 14 pounds of cherries every summer tends to make one sort of an expert on the fruit. While I don't claim to know half as much as Uncle Tim, I do know my way around a cherry crisp or two. You can see my practically award winning recipe for cherry crisp right here.
When the cherry delivery arrives on my doorstep each July, it's a race against time to get the fruit eaten, used in a recipe, or processed for the freezer before it spoils. You need to remove the cherry pit before you freeze cherries and last year my single cherry pitter finally gave up the ghost.
The best way to pit a lot of fresh cherries:
This spring I was thrilled when the folks from The Sausage Maker reached out and shared their amazing cherry pitter machine and asked if I'd like to give it a whirl. At first I was confused, The Sausage Maker? They want to send me a cherry pitter? But once I started poking around their site and read about their amazing foodie mission, I immediately said yes. My pitter has just been waiting and waiting for Uncle Tim's delivery and I couldn't wait to give it a try.
After years of pitting one cherry at a time and having a very sore wrist for a week, I was intrigued by the fact that this cherry pitter pits FIVE cherries at a time! Check this baby out:
I asked my girls to help me out and the pitter was so easy they could do it all by themselves. I set them up assembly line style and put them to work. Little Pea removed the stems and helped load the feeder tray while the Peanut worked the lever and pitted 5 cherries at a time into the collection plate. We worked our way through that entire colander (which is just a fraction of the entire haul!) in just minutes, a task that used to take me for what felt like forever.
I love that the cherry pitter separates the pits into a little bin underneath the machine and rolls the cherries down a shoot into a bowl or plate. It's still a messy job with cherry juice splatters, so you'd want to wear an apron and have some paper towels or a dish cloth handy, but it beats those single cherry pitters by a long shot if you've got a huge stockpile of fruit to process.
Since pitting large quantities of fresh cherries was so easy this year, I found the girls and I devoured huge bowls of them straight from the fridge in a way we never have before. When cherries are that easy to prepare for baking, you'll be a lot more tempted to stock up while they are in season and keep a solid stash of them in your freezer to be used year-round.
How to freeze fresh cherries:
To prepare them for the freezer, simply wash, dry, and remove the pits of the cherries. Measure them out into 1- or 2-cup servings into individual zip top bags, and keep them together in a larger gallon sized bag with the date in the freezer. Being able to grab a smaller portion of them in a perfectly recipe-sized container means you don't have to thaw the whole batch when you're craving cherry pie in December.
Then once you've processed all those fresh cherries, what are you going to do with them?? I've been collecting fresh cherry recipes for years and years. My family loves them best raw and straight up from the delivery, but we can only eat so many in one sitting! I love to freeze them and then use them for these fresh cherry recipes all year long:
30 fresh cherry recipes your whole family will LOVE:
Sweet fresh cherry recipes:
My natural instinct is always to use fresh cherries in a dessert. The cherry crisp is the recipe that started it all. Here are some other amazing ideas:
- Uncle Tim's Cherry Crisp: My tried and true recipe. I've made every year since the deliveries started.
- Fresh cherry slab pie: Perfect for feeding a crowd.
- Fresh cherry and almond Dutch baby pancake: This recipe is SO much easier than I would have guessed. Make it for breakfast or dessert!
- Roasted cherry chocolate chip ice cream: Whether you make this homemade ice cream or just the roasted cherries for a sauce for store-bought vanilla, you must try this asap!
- Roasted cherry brownies: Cherry and chocolate, yes please!
- Sweet cherry filled buns: A yeast bread based recipe, this one looks to die for.
- Cherry quick bread: a breakfast classic, perfect for transporting to a friend's house.
- Cherry pie with toasted almonds: cherry and almonds are a match made in heaven. Love this twist on a classic pie.
- Baked ricotta with orange blossom cherry sauce: Like cheesecake, but better.
- Roasted cherry and bourbon ice cream sauce: Can you go wrong with boozy berries? I think not.
- Brown butter cherry blondies: Blondies are one of my very favorite treats. Add a little white chocolate chip action to this recipe and it would be perfect!
- The Best-Ever Cherry Pie: This recipe calls for canned cherries, but you can totally swap out for your fresh ones. Delicious!
Fresh cherry recipes that are perfect for breakfast:
I love using cherries for a sweet breakfast treat. They pair so well with all things buttery and sweet!
- Tart cherry baked oatmeal: A healthier spin on breakfast but special enough for weekends.
- Cherry clafoutis: a classic cherry recipe that is very similar to a pancake. This French recipe is perfect for weekend breakfasts.
- Cherry vanilla dark chocolate overnight oats: The perfect prep-ahead weekday breakfast option.
- Cherry almond coffee cake with streusel topping: A new family favorite this year. Perfect for sharing with friends.
- Cream cheese cherry almond scones: I love all things scone. I would inhale these.
Fresh cherry cocktail recipes and fresh cherry beverages:
Cherries are a perfect base for a refreshing summer beverage. Be sure to try these awesome cherry ideas:
- Sparkling cherry limemade: This reminds me of my Sonic favorite.
- Fresh cherry margaritas: I need these in my life stat.
- Cherry lime mojito: Like an Adult Sonic favorite.
- Tipsy cherries: Marinated in the booze of your choice. Woah.
- Cherry pineapple smoothie: Safer for the kids than the rest of these beverages. YUM.
Savory fresh cherry recipes for dinner or appetizers:
If you haven't tried cherries as part of your dinner or appetizer menu, you are definitely missing out!
- Grilled peaches and cherries: Is it a side dish or dessert?? Who knows, make it either way.
- Cherry chipotle balsamic vinaigrette: I made this to serve over a fresh cherry and chicken salad. So good.
- Rosemary cherry balsamic chicken: I love the mix of balsamic and cherry together.
- Grilled pork tenderloin with dark cherry sauce: I bet the sauce would taste great with steak, too!
- Cherry pistachio sweet potato medley: What an amazing idea for a summery side dish.
- Cherry orange chicken salad: This is on my to-try list for lunches this summer. Sounds so good.
- Baked brie with honeyed cherries and candied walnuts: This is the perfect holiday recipe, stock those cherries in your freezer now so you can make this come December!
- Spicy cherry salsa: I love fruity salsa twists.
- Grilled goat cheese, cherry and arugula pizzas: Goat cheese & cherry anything would be amazing but these look swoon-worthy.
- Chicken kabobs with cherry bourbon BBQ sauce: Cherry BBQ sauce is just such a perfect fit. Can't believe I didn't think of it first!