It’s been a bountiful year for sour cherries hereabouts, and I couldn’t help but notice that my neighbor’s cherry tree was still bursting with them despite being picked at by me, another neighbor, the owner neighbors and countless birds. So I picked some more—almost 2 pounds—after the tree owners said to pick as many as I wanted. This time, though, I didn’t have time to put them promptly into a pie. So I did the next best thing: I froze them.
By now I had perfected my paper-clip-pitting technique and made quick work of that task after I washed the cherries. (Note to potential cherry pitters: Wear an apron. Cherries are juicy, and the juice stains like crazy.) Then I placed the cherries on a large pan and placed them in the freezer.
Once frozen, I transferred the cherries to a freezer bag and sucked all the air I could out of it with a straw and the zipper closed around it (my low-tech alternative to a vacuum sealer). I placed that bag inside a second freezer bag. Now, they sit tantalizingly in my freezer. What will they be? Clafouti? Preserves? Hmm. I wonder what else I could make with sour cherries. Any suggestions?
An addendum, by the way. Don’t take my story as the last word (or even the first word) on freezing cherries. Some people swear by FruitFresh and other products to ward off browning. A little browning doesn’t bother me much (and really, there wasn’t much browning with these cherries when cooked or frozen right away). The extension service people also give directions for freezing with sugar or syrup, if you’re interested. I was interested in getting the job done, so I did it in the most expedient way for me.