Cherries are in season just in time for summer and we couldn’t be more excited! These bright red jewels are packed with sweet and juicy flavor, boasting plenty of versatility in the kitchen. Whether snacking on them whole, baking them into a refreshing summer dessert, or creating something savory, rely on your local Foodtown grocery store for seasonal cherries that are sure to please.
How to Choose Ripe Cherries at the Grocery Store
When browsing the aisles of Foodtown’s produce department, brightly colored cherries are sure to grab your attention. To choose the ripest cherries, follow these tips:
- Look for firmness, a wrinkle-free surface, and a deep saturation of color. While the shade of red may vary from cherry to cherry, the deeper the shade, the sweeter the fruit will be.
- Rainier cherries, another common grocery store variety, have natural pink and yellow tones. Though lighter in color, look for cherries that are vibrant.
- If shopping for cherries with the stem, look for stems that are bright green. If the stems are removed, simply look for cherries that are plump and firm.
How to Store or Freeze Cherries for Freshness
Cherries are one of the more delicate of fruits, meaning they can spoil quickly. In fact, they can start to wrinkle and lose their sweetness within an hour at room temperature! Follow these guidelines to keep cherries fresh and juicy throughout the season:
- Store cherries in a plastic bag and place them in the refrigerator as soon as returning home from the grocery store.
- Rinse cherries with cold water only before eating. Washing them in advance means excess moisture is absorbed, which could lead to mold.
- If freezing, you may choose to pit them or keep them whole. Either way, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place in the freezer until frozen. Once frozen, transition into a freezer-safe plastic zip bag and place back in the freezer.
Cherry Clafoutis, a Fresh Cherry Recipe for Seasonal Snacking
This classic French dessert is simple to make, making it perfect for laid-back afternoons. Plus, fresh cherries add a bright pop of seasonal flavor! Ingredients:
- 3 Cups of Fresh Sweet Cherries, stemmed and pitted
- 3 Eggs
- 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
- ½ Cup Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
- 1-2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar, for sprinkling on baking dish before baking
- Powdered Sugar, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch round baking dish and sprinkle granulated sugar in an even layer to avoid sticking.
- Arrange cherries along the bottom of the pan in a single layer, until the entire bottom is covered.
- In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, salt, and extracts until well-blended. Mix in cooled melted butter.
- Mix in flour until well combined and free of lumps. Then, add milk and mix until smooth. The “batter” should be thin, well-blended, and smooth.
- Pour the mixture over the cherries and bake for 30-35 minutes until puffed and golden brown. The edges should be set, while the center will still be slightly wiggly.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes until cooled. This dessert may be served lukewarm or chilled. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!
Visit Foodtown’s Produce Department for Fresh Seasonal Fruits
With these tips for picking and storing cherries, you can enjoy these juicy morsels all season long. At Foodtown, we strive to maintain the quality of our produce department by stocking the aisles with plenty of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Take a trip to your local Foodtown grocery store and stock up on cherries for snacking, baking, and more.