Picking: Sour Cherries

I can't get enough of sour cherries! Growing up in Ohio, I'd spend the first half of June up in the cherry tree, reaching for every last make-you-pucker fruit. Even with my "one for the bucket, two for me" mentality, my family ended up with loads of cherries that we'd make into pies, jam, cobblers, muffins and more.
By: Liz Gray
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I can't get enough of sour cherries. Growing up in Ohio, I'd spend the first half of June up in the cherry tree, reaching for every last can't-help-but-pucker gem. Even with my "one for the bucket, two for me" mentality, my family ended up with loads of cherries that would find their way into pies, jam, cobblers, muffins and more.

I headed back to my parents' house last weekend and snagged a few choice cherries from home. The dilemma: What's the best way to enjoy my limited supply? I searched the Interwebs for inspiration, then got cooking.

There are always the classics: You can't go wrong with a cherry pie, like this one from Gastronomer's Guide, and fresh cherries are the only way to go. ( Seriously -- put down the can opener!) Yes, you have to pit them (find out how here).  And yes, it's still worth it.

Another can't-miss favorite? Cherry cobbler.  I never met a cobbler I didn't like, but this one from Whipped looks especially delicious with its buttery top and tart cherry filling. And, of course, the pièce de résistance: They top it off with vanilla ice cream.

Our own Bill Granger's almond-crusted, cherry-studded Rustic Cherry Tart also sounds mighty tempting.

Cherries are great in sweets, but they're equally tasty in savory dishes, like The Wright Recipes' sour cherry-mint relish with pork chops. Dinner and dessert from the cherry tree? Yes, please!

In the end, I went traditional -- the thought of a warm, bubbly cherry crisp was just too good to pass up. I mixed in a pile of fresh rhubarb ( also procured on my weekend trip), then topped it off with crumbly, buttery oat topping.

But if I find another batch of these red jewels at the farmers' market, trying some more of these recipes would be, well, the cherry on top.

What's your favorite sour cherry recipe?

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