Life Is Just A Sea Of Cherries

There, my friends, you have 5 linear feet of cherries.  A whole kitchen full of cherries.  And that’s just what we saved from the birds this morning.  After a torrential nighttime rain the morning brought an amazing swoop of little birds to the tree.  I think they’re called mesanges here, a tiny tit of a bird, totally unafraid of rain and human scarecrows clapping their hands.  We finally persuaded Beppo to get on the job and up the tree, but in the end, even he wasn’t enough of a deterrent for the hungry birds. 

In truth there are enough to share, and we can’t get to the highest fruit in any case, but still, it’s the first time I’ve lived with a cherry tree and I want to take full advantage of it.

I’ve started a rumtopf of cherries,

and made my second batch of vin de feuilles de cerisier, a wine made with cherry leaves soaked in red wine and sugar that is actually quite delicious.

Today we even went so far as to buy a cherry pitter.

Between the two of us, plus the partially-reliable pitter, we got 3 kilos of pitted cherries into the pot to make jam.  That won’t be done until tomorrow, and in the meantime half of the kitchen counter is still heaped with cherries.  What to do next?  More jam?  Cherry syrup?  I’ve been eating as many as possible and giving away fruit, but this is getting serious.  Because even though it’s dark and raining again and the birds have gone to bed, I know there are still a lot more cherries on that tree.  And with all this rain they’ll have to picked or else they’ll spoil.

It’s sink or swim time in cherrydom and I need a lifesaving recipe or two to keep my head above the fruity swells.  Help, what would you do?

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10 Comments on “Life Is Just A Sea Of Cherries”

  1. Jeanne Says:

    Hi! What a surfeit of riches! I’m guessing that freezers in France are tiny or non-existant. Can you dry them? I don’t have a clue about how to do that, but it’s all I can think of to keep the bounty going through the year. Plus there’s only so many pies, turnovers, cobblers, and clafouti that one can eat or give away (maybe more jame as a thank you to all those lovely people you’ve mentioned before?)

    I’l have to check my copy of the Cake Bible, RLB has a cherry topping recipe (but I think it uses cherries she’s frozen) for cheesecake that is wonderful.

  2. Rona Y Says:

    I would make Emily Luchetti’s Black Forest Brownies http://www.starchefs.com/features/picnics/html/brownies_e_luchetti.shtml which I’ve never made, but Renka on eG made them, and they looked fabulous!

    Then I’d make some kind of cherry filling that could be used for danishes or turnovers.

    Then I’d send some to some cherry deprived people all around the world!

  3. Lucy V Says:

    Why not try a sauce to serve with meats like duck breast or veal poitrine or sweetbreads? Duckling, quail, and pigeon. If you must stick with sweet, flambeed cherries are quite delicious and easy. Chocolate and cherries go very well together, in addition to the brownies above even some poached cherries with chocolate ice cream would be lovely.
    At the Chateau de Divonne in the Ain they do a lovely dessert of burlat cherries, pan simmered in a pistachio jus, served with a shortbread and a frozen mascarpone quenelle.

  4. Eden Says:

    pickled cherries are lovely. Cherry pudding is dreamy. and of course cherries preserved in brandy or vodka with sugar will keep for a good long time…

  5. Ray Says:

    POT ROAST with Cherries

    3 lbs. chuck roast
    2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. dry mustard
    2 TB. butter
    1 TB. olive oil
    1/4 c. dark brown sugar
    1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
    1/3 c. dry red wine
    2 c. beef broth
    2 c. pitted sweet cherries
    1 1/2 TB. cornstarch to thicken at the end of cooking if necessary

    Bake uncovered at 325 for 2 hrs. Then add cherries, cover and bake 1 hour longer.

  6. Abra Says:

    Thanks for all the suggestions, guys. So far I’ve also made cherry pit wine and a clafoutis, but I still need more ideas. I think one more day of picking and I’ll be done for the season.

    That pot roast looks very interesting!

  7. Marie Laborde Says:

    S’il te plaît, Abra, n’oublie pas les “cerises à l’eau de vie” — un digestif incomparable — j’adore!— très facile à faire — il y a deux recettes sur Google.

  8. Townley in Seattle Says:

    Bonjour, Abra! Still enjoying your stories. Wow! 5 feet of cherries! Try steeping layers of cherries in a large glass jar with lemon slices or peel and some sugar in eau de vie. I’ve done it with everclear and peaches. Let it sit what seems a loooong time and then try it over ice cream, or wherever however you want.
    Drying is a great idea, also. Cut cherries in half, lay cut side up on a screen then cover with cheese cloth to keep les mesanges away. Then one could, should one want, dip dried cherries in chocolate – white and dark, perhaps? – and share.


  9. […] you ever buy food just for its beauty?  You’d think that after all the cherries we’ve had recently I’d never eat another cherry this summer.  You’d think that, but you’d be […]


  10. […] days that Beppo spent hiding under furniture from the evil storm gods is that now, instead of a counter covered with cherries, we’ve got a counter covered with bottled water, not to mention a huge pot of tap water […]


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