Saturday, July 10, 2010

the zen of sour cherries


Run, don't walk, to your local farmer's market. Sour cherries aren't around for long.

In this society, we can enjoy virtually any food we want at any time. Instant gratification is now the norm, in food and in many other areas. But the fleeting appearance of ruby-red sour cherries reminds me of how important it is to pursue and to savor space around all experiences, culinary or otherwise. We bask, for example, in delicious anticipation, waiting for the sour cherries' arrival, licking our lips at the thought of succulent sour cherry pies, cobblers and preserves. Flash forward to the short-but-sweet sour cherry season: we are fully present, savoring each sweet-sour bite, partly because the cherries taste heavenly, and partly sparked by gratitude – knowing [ahem!] that they are only here for a short while. 

Sour cherry season comes and goes in the blink of an eye. And since these cherries are highly perishable, chances are you won't find them at your local grocery store. I was lucky enough to score a quart of these thin-skinned beauties last week at the Fair Food Farmstand, located in the Reading Terminal Market. As their name suggests, sour cherries are a bit tart, so not everyone enjoys them raw. [I actually do.] Their texture is quite watery, somewhat reminiscent of watermelon, and the skin practically dissolves in your mouth.

Sour cherries are the quintessential ingredient used in cherry pies and cobblers. Their slightly sour flavor pairs so nicely with all the sugar and salt. Pitting the cherries for baking or ice cream is easy. Just take a toothpick or skewer and push out the pit.


Sour Cherry Vanilla Soy Ice Cream

I used a good portion of the cherries to make a batch of Sour Cherry Vanilla Soy Ice Cream.


Improvised Mixed Berry Cobbler


The rest ended up in an improvised mixed berry cobbler, made with sour cherries, blueberries and strawberries.




Sour Cherry One-Two Punch: Ice cream over cobbler

Being a hedonist, it didn't take me long to discover that the ice cream was the perfect topping for the cobbler.

14 comments:

Jennifer said...

Mmmm... I found some sour cherries recently too! They were delicious...I made cobbler with mine. Check it out: http://soychaibookshelf.blogspot.com/2010/06/sour-cherries.html

Millie said...

love that berry cobbler...it looks great. I personally like sweet cherries...but that cobbler looks good enough to eat right through the screen.

Catherine said...

It is impossible to find sour cherries locally in MN, (our winters are too cold for the trees,) but I just picked up 5 pounds of michigan cherries from a local apple orchard today! I have a cherry pie waiting for dessert tonight, and a quart, pitted, in the freezer for another day. Woo!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Ooh, I would love to try that ice cream! yum.

dreaminitvegan said...

Cobbler, ice cream, it all looks so good. I love the tartness of cherries as well.

Virginie Péan said...

Yummy desserts! You're right, I'm sure the taste of sour cherries goes perfectly with a vanilla ice-cream. Your post makes me want these cherries... NOW!

buffalodick said...

Michigan has cherries- and plenty of them, but it's a little early for them here...

Amey said...

oh wow - so lovely. I have never seen sour cherries out here in the Bay Area, despite being a totally dedicated 2x/week farmers' market gal. So, I stick to the regular sweet cherries- and they are also very great. In fact, I have a HUGE bowl of Bing and Rainer cherries waiting for me after I finish eating my veggies for lunch. Mmmm!

melodypolakow said...

That looks delicious!

Morgan-- said...

Sour cherries are so delicious! And that ice cream...oh my goodness, looks amazing!

East Village Vegan said...

Wow that ice cream looks great! I'll have to try making my own ice cream soon:)

mamapasta said...

sour cherries.....my grand mother had this in her garden....so much
childhood memories.

Babette said...

Thanks for that post.

I am actually getting sour cherries tonight from my CSA share and I had no idea what to do with them!

Eric said...

This makes me want to buy an ice cream making even more now...!