Buy & Store

Food & Drink - - SEASONAL -

On­tario red tart (a.k.a. sour) cher­ries are del­i­cate lit­tle things, their shelf life all too brief. Luck­ily for us, each sum­mer—around June or July—cherry farm­ers process the fruit and pack them in pails ready to use in a bunch of fresh-tast­ing ways. Life re­ally is a bowl of cher­ries.

Look for 10-lb (4.5-kg) pails of pit­ted tart (sour) cher­ries in your su­per­mar­ket’s re­frig­er­a­tor or freezer, and don’t be daunted by the size of the pail.

Use a slot­ted spoon to scoop out the cher­ries, mea­sur­ing them into freezer bags in us­able quan­ti­ties. Six cups (1.5 L) fill a pie but you may want to pack some cher­ries in smaller amounts for other recipes.

If the cher­ries are frozen, thaw the pail on the coun­ter­top just un­til you can eas­ily scoop the fruit.

Seal each bag of cher­ries tightly, squeez­ing out as much air as pos­si­ble, la­bel then freeze for up to one year. Thaw the cher­ries be­fore us­ing, then drain well. It’s wise to check for the odd pit by squeez­ing the cher­ries gen­tly with your fin­gers be­fore adding them to a recipe.

If you’re lucky enough to find fresh sour cher­ries, buy bright red fruit that’s firm and plump. Re­frig­er­ate them for up to five days, with­out wash­ing. Rinse and pit the del­i­cate cher­ries just be­fore us­ing.

To freeze fresh sour cher­ries, pit them then spread out on a large, rimmed bak­ing sheet. Freeze un­til firm, then pack in freezer bags and store as for cher­ries from a pail.

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