Sour cherries have arrived at our neighborhood farmer’s market – bright red, glowing globes of possibility. I get two quarts each time to ensure I’ll have some to play with (otherwise they will be polished off immediately, barely time to wash them).
Last year, I waited too long to buy extra to freeze, so this year, I did it immediately. After carefully pitting them all (an actual cherry pitter is pretty essential for this), I made a lightly sweet pie filling situation and froze half of it.
To up the cherry factor, I made a simple syrup using the pits. A lot of cherry flavor is inside the pits, so I cracked some of them open, inside a plastic bag, using a hammer.
It smelled immediately like a bottle of kirsch! I then simmered the pits with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar.
I used this simple syrup to sweeten the cherries. I added 1 cup of cherries, the syrup, a pinch of salt, dash of vanilla and some cornstarch dissolved in water (to thicken) to a clean saucepan and simmered until thick. I didn’t want to cook all of the cherries, so I just added the thickened cherries and syrup to the raw, pitted cherries and folded together. I have used this as a topping for vegan cheesecake, yogurt for breakfast, and of course just straight from a spoon!