Like a lot of good things Northwest Cherries don’t last very long! This is because they are picked once a year and sent straight to the shops for you to enjoy their freshness! However you can make your delicious cherries last that little bit longer by following some of the handy hints below.
1: Canning Northwest Fresh Sweet Cherries
Select firm, ripe Northwest sweet cherries. Rinse, drain and remove stems and pits, if desired. Pack cherries into clean hot canning jars and cover with medium-hot syrup (1-1/2 cups sugar to 2 cups water), leaving 1/2 -inch headspace. Seal jar according to manufacturer’s directions. Place jars on rack in canner. Process 25 minutes for pints and quarts in boiling water bath with boiling water two inches above jar tops. Remove jars from canner. Cool away from drafts. Remove rings from sealed jars after 12 hours.
2: Drying Northwest Fresh Sweet Cherries
Select firm, ripe Northwest fresh sweet cherries. Wash, cut in half, and remove stems and pits. Place cherries, skin side down, in single layers trays. Dry cherries at 140oF 6 to 12 hours, being careful not to over-dry; cherries should be leathery and slightly sticky when properly dried. To store, place in small plastic bags, seal and keep in dark, dry, cool place. Dried cherries are a great substitute for raisins or dried currants in recipes and as a snack.
3: Freezing Northwest Sweet Cherries
Work with small amounts of Northwest fresh sweet cherries to allow for quick handling and freezing. Select firm, ripe Northwest sweet cherries. Rinse and drain cherries thoroughly. Pack according to preferred method and freeze immediately
Whole with stems: Spread cherries with stems intact in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze until firm. Pack into freezer-proof containers or plastic freezer bags; remove excess air, cover or fasten tightly and freeze Freezing Northwest Sweet Cherries is as simple as 1-2-3
Step 1: Rinse firm, ripe cherries in cold water; drain thoroughly.
Step 2: Pack cherries in a plastic freezer bags of freezer-proof containers. Remove excess air; fasten or cover tightly.
Step 3: Freeze.
- Before freezing, label and date each plastic bag or container.
- Freezer should be 0°F, or lower.
- For fastest freezing, place bags directly on freezer shelves. Leave space around each bag until contents are frozen.
- Remove amount of cherries needed, reseal plastic bag or container and return to the freezer immediately.
- Serve cherries partially frozen for best flavour and texture. Dip in chocolate for a special treat.
- Remove stems and pits; add salads, sauces, toppings and batters.
Dry Sugar Pack: Add 1/3 cup sugar for each pint of pitted or unpitted fresh sweet cherries; toss lightly to coat cherries. Fill freezer containers or bags; shake to pack fruit. Add more cherries to fill containers or bags. Cover tightly and freeze.