cherry recipe

Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

 Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

I bought a lot of cherries, with plans to make jam and to dehydrate some. Maybe even make pie filling. But it is really hot here today, so I  decided to use some of the cherries to make cherry liqueur, instead. It is easy, and the reward is having this lovely liqueur to enjoy even when cherries aren’t in season. I added a couple of vanilla beans to mine, but you can leave them out, if you prefer. You could also add 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla extract.

 

Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

2 c. granulated sugar
4 c. vodka or brandy
1 lb. large, washed, stemmed and pitted sweet cherries
2 (6-7 inch) vanilla beans, broken into several pieces

Place sugar and vodka or brandy in a large jar- I used a half gallon canning jar. Stir until sugar is mostly dissolved. Add cherries and vanilla and cover jar. Do not stir. Place in a cool, dark place for 3 months, without stirring or shaking. Strain and filter. Divine! Makes 4-6 cups.

Cherry Bombs

Cherry Bombs

Cherry Bombs

These little treats make a great addition to your 4th of July party. They are simple to make, with only three ingredients.  You can throw them together in no time at all. I think of the cherry bombs as a type of candy. A simple, sweet treat that can be served just as they are. They can also be used to top a cake or other dessert. You can even garnish a cocktail with them. I did the same thing with strawberries, but “strawberry bombs” did not have the same ring to it.

 

To make the cherry bombs, you will need cherries, white chocolate and blue sugar. If you don’t have blue sugar, you can put granulated sugar in a bag, add a few drops of blue food coloring, seal the bag and shake it up. The sugar will turn blue.  Wash and dry off some large, sweet cherries. Melt white chocolate, stirring until smooth. Dip the cherries in the white chocolate, then the blue sugar. Place on wax paper to firm up. Store in fridge.

Cherry Scones

Cherry Scones

Cherry Scones

Who doesn’t love cherry pie? I know I do. I got together for coffee with a couple of friends recently and I wanted to make something to have with our coffee. I used cherry pie filling as the base for these scones. My pie filling was homemade.  Store bought cherry pie filling would work fine, too. They were just sweet enough and came out this beautiful pink color. They did remind me a little of cherry pie and summer. Nothing bad about that. The scones were great just as they were- but would also make a wonderful base for shortcake. I think with a scoop of ice cream or a bit of whipped cream, these scones would also make a nice dessert.

 

Cherry Scones

3 c. flour

1/4 c. sugar

1 T. baking powder

1 t. salt

1/2 c. cold butter

1 1/3 c. cherry pie filling

2 eggs

2 t. vanilla

Glaze:

2 c. powdered sugar

2 T. vanilla

water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or grease lightly. I have silicone baking mats so that is what I use. Set aside. In mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Combine pie filling with eggs and vanilla and stir to blend well. Add to dry ingredients and stir until mixed well. Mixture will be a stiff batter. Scoop 1/4 cup portions of batter onto the baking sheets- leaving a couple of inches between them.  You will need both baking sheets. I used a 2 oz. ice cream scoop and got 22 scones. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. I switched my baking sheets about halfway through the baking. Remove to a cooling rack and make the glaze.

Combine the powdered sugar and vanilla in a small bowl and add enough water so the glaze is about the thickness of maple syrup, probably a couple of tablespoons. Dip the tops of each of the warm scones in the glaze and return to the cooling rack.

Homemade Cherry-Vanilla Liqueur

 Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

I bought a lot of cherries, with plans to make jam and to dehydrate some. Maybe even make pie filling. But it is really hot here today, so I  decided to use some of the cherries to make cherry liqueur, instead. It is easy, and the reward is having this lovely liqueur to enjoy even when cherries aren’t in season. I added a couple of vanilla beans to mine, but you can leave them out, if you prefer. You could also add 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla extract.

 

Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

2 c. granulated sugar
4 c. vodka or brandy
1 lb. large, washed, stemmed and pitted sweet cherries
2 (6-7 inch) vanilla beans, broken into several pieces

Place sugar and vodka or brandy in a large jar- I used a half gallon canning jar. Stir until sugar is mostly dissolved. Add cherries and vanilla and cover jar. Do not stir. Place in a cool, dark place for 3 months, without stirring or shaking. Strain and filter. Divine! Makes 4-6 cups.

Cherry Scones

Cherry Scones

Cherry Scones

I found myself with an open can of cherry pie filling. Those who know me know that I hate to waste anything. It sat there in the fridge for several days, taunting me. I wanted to do something different but I wasn’t sure what. In the end I decided to make cherry scones. I started with a basic scone recipe and adjusted some ingredients to allow for the moisture of the pie filling. I experiment a lot with this sort of thing and am usually pretty good at it. Most things come out just fine. Sometimes, however, things come out better than fine. This is one of those recipes. I almost want to call them cherry biscuits. Soft, not too sweet and full of flavor from both the cherries and a vanilla glaze. I will surely make these again. Here is what I did.

 

 Cherry Scones

3 c. flour

1/4 c. sugar

1 T. baking powder

1 t. salt

1/2 c. cold butter

1 1/3 c. cherry pie filling

2 eggs

2 t. vanilla

Glaze:

2 c. powdered sugar

2 T. vanilla

water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or grease lightly. I have silicone baking mats so that is what I use. Set aside. In mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Combine pie filling with eggs and vanilla and stir to blend well. Add to dry ingredients and stir until mixed well. Mixture will be a stiff batter. Scoop 1/4 cup portions of batter onto the baking sheets- leaving a couple of inches between them.  You will need both baking sheets. I used a 2 oz. ice cream scoop and got 22 scones. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. I switched my baking sheets about halfway through the baking. Remove to a cooling rack and make the glaze.

Combine the powdered sugar and vanilla in a small bowl and add enough water so the glaze is about the thickness of maple syrup, probably a couple of tablespoons. Dip the tops of each of the warm scones in the glaze and return to the cooling rack.

Cherry Vanilla Jam

Cherry Vanilla Jam

Cherry Vanilla Jam

I have some frozen cherries I got from King Orchards. They are neighbors of my sister in Central Lake, Michigan. I wanted to use some of them for cherry vanilla jam which is one of my all time favorites.

 

Cherry Vanilla Jam

4 1/2 c. chopped pitted sour cherries including any juice

2 T. lemon juice

2 T. pure vanilla extract

1 box powdered pectin

5 1/4 c. sugar

Wash jelly jars and lids  and keep warm until ready to use. Place a large pot of water, with a rack, on to boil for the water bath. In large saucepan combine cherries with lemon juice, vanilla and pectin. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring often. Add the sugar and bring mixture back to a rolling boil, stirring often. Once the mixture gets to a full, rolling boil,  constantly stir for one minute longer. Remove jam from heat and skim off any foam. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, filling to about 1/4 inch from the top. Wipe off rim and screw on the lids. Repeat with remaining jam. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from water bath and allow jars to cool.  Yield: about 7  half pint jars of jam.

 

 

 

 

 

Cherry-Vanilla Won Tons

Cherry Vanilla Won Tons

Cherry Vanilla Won Tons

I had an open package of won tons and needed a quick dessert the other night so I made these cherry won tons. I started with a can of tart cherries I had gotten from King Orchards. They are just cherries so I sweetened them and added vanilla, thickened them a little a made what amounts to cherry pie filling. The nice thing about starting with plain cherries is that I was able to control the amount of sugar I added. I am not a fan of overly sweet desserts. I placed a small amount of filling in a wonton and moistened the edges of the wonton with water so it would seal. Some I rolled up like little egg rolls. I also made some more like ravioli, placing filling in the middle and pressing a second wonton on top of the first. I fried them in a minimum amount of oil in a small pan and dusted them with powdered sugar before serving. It was a great last minute dessert.

Cherry Vanilla Filling

1 can (15 oz.) plain tart cherries

3 T. cornstarch

1/2 c. sugar

2 t. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Allow to cool before using in wontons.

Cherry Vanilla Won Tons

Cherry Vanilla Won Tons

Cherry Vanilla Won Tons

Cherry Vanilla Won Tons

 

Cherry Soda and Cherry Almond Milk

Cherry Soda

Cherry Soda

I have to admit that I mostly drink water. I know, pretty boring, huh? Sometimes I forget to have something else to offer when company is over. I can make lemonade or iced tea and of course, there is always coffee. I try not to keep sodas around because if they are here, I will drink them.  A nice alternative is making a simple drink with concentrated juices and soda water. I have been on a cherry kick lately so this is what I used.  Just pour some syrup into your glass and stir in soda water to taste. Add ice and there you are. Something that is better for you than soda and frankly, tastes better, too.  Cherry Almond Milk

Cherry Almond Milk

I am also lactose intolerant so I don’t have milk around, but I do have almond milk. I tried adding some of the cherry juice to it the other day. Came out pretty good. Sort of tasted like a cherry milkshake.Think I’ll pop it in the freezer for a little while the next time or maybe freeze some of the almond milk and combine it with the cherry juice in the blender.

Duck with Cherry and Red Wine Sauce

Duck with cherry and red wine sauce

Duck with cherry and red wine sauce

As part of a dinner with friends I made duck 2 ways. The first was with a cherry and red wine sauce. The tart cherries – I used frozen- paired very well with the duck. I could see using this sauce on pork, lamb or even chicken. I had a duck in the freezer from Plum Creek Farm, a local farm. The cherries were from King Orchards in Central Lake, Michigan. They are neighbors of my sister. I recently got some frozen cherries from them and wanted to use them with the duck. I started by making the sauce.

Cherry and Red Wine Sauce

2 T. oil

1/2 c. minced shallots

2 c. frozen cherries, thawed

1/2 c. red wine- I used Merlot

1 cinnamon stick

salt and pepper to taste

3 T. honey

In skillet saute shallots in oil until they start to turn golden brown. Add cherries, with any liquid they are in, and the wine and cinnamon stick. Cook until most of the liquid evaporates. Add the honey, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook a few more minutes. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick.

Reducing the sauce

Reducing the sauce

The Duck

1 duck

salt and pepper to taste

1 recipe cherry and red wine sauce

I cut off the extra fat and skin from the neck of the duck to save for rendering later. I also removed the wings and set aside for another use. I then cut the duck in half and placed it in a roasting pan on a rack. Season it with salt and pepper. Bake in a 425 degree oven for half an hour.  Turn down heat to 350 and cook until duck is done. That will take about an hour- depending on the size of the duck. At this point I had to come up with a plan B. The oven I was using stopped working. To finish off the duck I heated up a large skillet and put the duck in the skillet, skin side up. I poured the cherry sauce over the duck and cooked it with the lid on for 15 minutes. Then I took the lid off and turned the duck skin side down. On medium high heat I allowed the sauce to reduce. It also caramelized on the skin making a nice glaze.  If the oven hadn’t stopped working I would have finished off the duck under the broiler.

https://www.facebook.com/plumcreek.farm

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Balaton Cherry Cheesecakes- Gluten Free

Balaton Cherry Cheesecakes- Gluten Free

Balaton Cherry Cheesecakes- Gluten Free

I was having some friends over recently and wanted a gluten free dessert. I was also lucky enough to have recently received some frozen cherries from King Orchards in Michigan.* Inspiration struck and I ended up making these mini cherry cheesecakes. The crust is a shortbread type cookie made with gluten free flour. The filling pretty straight forward with a nice splash of lemon juice and vanilla. The cherries are a variety called Balaton with Hungarian origins. While they are considered a tart cherry they are darker than most tart cherries and have a sweetness to them that I just love. I used 2 cups of frozen cherries-I like a lot of cherries on my cheesecake- but I only used 2 tablespoons of sugar to sweeten them. The recipe made a dozen. Here is what I did.

Balaton Cherry Mini Cheesecakes – Gluten Free

Crust:

1/4 c. softened butter

1/4 c. sugar

1/2 c. gluten free flour – found in some grocery stores- I got mine at Costco

pinch of salt.

Filling: 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. sugar

2 T. lemon juice

2 t. vanilla

2 eggs

Balaton Cherry Topping:

2 c. Balaton cherries- or other frozen tart cherries- thawed

2 T. sugar, or to your taste

1 t. tapioca starch- you could also use cornstarch

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 12 muffin pans with paper or foil liners. In mixing bowl combine ingredients for crust by first mixing the butter and sugar together and then stirring in the flour and salt. Divide the dough into 12 portions and roll into balls. Place one ball in each paper lined pan and press to flatten. Bake for 10 minutes. While crust is baking make the filling. Combine cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla and blend until smooth.  Stir in the eggs. Spoon the batter into the muffin pans- they will be pretty full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until puffy and set. Cheesecakes will flatten a little when cooled. While the cheesecakes are baking you can make the cherry topping. Pour off any liquid from the defrosted cherries into a small saucepan. You should have about half a cup. Add sugar and tapioca starch or cornstarch and heat over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture thickens- it just takes a few minutes. Stir in the cherries and allow mixture to cool down. Once cheesecakes and topping are both cooled down spoon cherries over the cheesecakes and chill until ready to eat. These could be frozen- but you aren’t going to have any left over.

*http://kingorchards.com/