What to do With a Tree-full of Cherries?

I have shared the delights of Cherry Clafoutis and passed on a Cherry Jam Recipe.  I am planning on making some Cherry Vodka/Schnapps (always  a wonderful treat) and bottling some cherries.  None of this will make a significant dent in the volume of ripe cherries burdening one particularly good old cherry tree at the bottom of our land.

Last year storms ruined the cherry harvest, all the fruits split and rotted on the trees which was very distressing.  I do not want to waste this years bounty.  Cherries are big business in these parts, our village is famous for them and even hold an annual Cherry Festival (which was sadly lacking in local produce last year)

I need help.  Any ideas for cheap things to do with cherries?  There is only so much cherry jam we’re likely to consume and I’m at a bit of a loss.  I was thinking about drying some, but have never actually tasted dried cherries.  Does anyone out there is cyberland know if they’re any good?

Please remember we have a tiny freezer so an icy preservation is not really an option for our tree-full of cherries.

All ideas will be very welcome!  I’ve shared, now its your turn.  What do I do with all these cherries before the ants eat them?

For a more self sufficient future

6 Responses to “What to do With a Tree-full of Cherries?”

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  1. Bob says:

    When I was a kid living with my grandparents behind the iron curtain, I saw that they managed their produce supplies by making conserves. They would make jams, kompot, wine and the like. Cherries are good in any form, as main or minor ingredients.

  2. Sarah says:

    Dried cherries turn out nicely, good for baking, cereal, or nibbling out of hand. I use all the less-than-perfect cherries for this purpose, and dry them in a store-bought food dehydrator (which we use for tomatoes, smoked jalapenos, and other garden leftovers.) You should be able to do it by solar power, if you can avoid ant or other bug problems. Pit and/or cut them in half first, and if they get too dried out, re-hydrate briefly in hot water or juice before cooking with them.

    We have also tried making cordials with them, but I have yet to find a good combination that doesn’t taste like cough syrup. I’m trying a new version this year, and will let you know the recipe if it works!

  3. Sarah says:

    Also, cherry juice is nice to cook with. Just mash and strain it like you were going to make jelly, make sure it has enough lemon and sugar, jar it and process in a hot water bath. It’s great in the winter for cooking with dark meats, either in the marinade or sauce.

  4. Sarah, thanks for all the great tips. I shall tell Mrs. Dirty Boots. She is not feeling too well at the moment.

    Guess why? Cherry overload. She can’t pass a tree without stuffing her face!

    Ummm, I mean in a very lady like manner nibbling delicately on a single cherry.

    Even the Dogs have now started jumping up at the trees to get some cherries!

  5. Jaki says:

    Cherry vodka is good too as it last 12 months or so and only needs a cool dark cupboard to be kept it

  6. randi says:

    “Share” if your not able to use em all. Honorable