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What to Do With a Bowlful of Cherries

Photo: Brooke McLay

Local cherries are in full bloom across the Okanagan – BC Tree Fruits recently announced that they expect an unusually large crop of cherries this season – to the tune of 8 million pounds. (In comparison, 2011 saw a cherry crop yield of 4.6 million pounds.) In addition to an increase in quantity of the popular summer sweet, consumers can expect to see cherries arrive in local grocery stores earlier than anticipated. Good news for those of us who adore spending the summer months with cherry juice dripping from our chins.

Although there’s nothing wrong with eating cherries straight up, their abundance encourages using them in baking, desserts and drinks – here are a handful of recipes that make the best of this summery stone fruit.

  • Fresh Cherry Tartlets 1 of 11
    Fresh Cherry Tartlets
    These simple cherry pies bring out the best of the fruit - they aren't cloying and syrupy, like many sugary and cornstarch-thickened cherry pie fillings can be.
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Double Cherry Swirl Ice Cream Cones 2 of 11
    Double Cherry Swirl Ice Cream Cones
    Homemade ice cream is one of summer's greatest pleasures - although this version calls for dried cherries, fresh chopped ones would make a delicious swap - and be even more lickable.
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Bing Cherry Mojitos 3 of 11
    Bing Cherry Mojitos
    Brilliant pink cherries make a perfectly summery sipper - perfect for patio entertaining.
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Cherry Cornmeal Upside Down Cake 4 of 11
    Cherry Cornmeal Upside Down Cake
    Cherries make a delicious alternative to the usual peaches or pineapple in this seasonal upside-down cake - delicious paired with sweet cornmeal cake.
    Dinner with Julie has the recipe!
  • Cherry Pie Muffins 5 of 11
    Cherry Pie Muffins
    Who says cherry pie doesn't make a suitable breakfast? Juicy, flavourful cherries made a great addition to your morning muffin.
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Balsamic Cherry Gelato 6 of 11
    Balsamic Cherry Gelato
    This grown-up confection combines rich cherries with intense balsamic vinegar, which lends an acidic tang - the combination is surprisingly delicious in this summer sweet!
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Mixed Berry Galette 7 of 11
    Mixed Berry Galette
    This isn't your usual cherry pie - a jumble of berries and stone fruits, baked in a rustic shell done free-form on a baking sheet, there's no need to crimp or struggle with a lattice top. Easy as pie!
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Cherry Limeade 8 of 11
    Cherry Limeade
    Although this version is made with maraschino cherries, the real thing can be swapped in during the summer months, when they're in season. A delicious twist on the usual lemonade!
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Cherry Banana Muffins with Crunchy Tops 9 of 11
    Cherry Banana Muffins with Crunchy Tops
    Next time you have a surplus of overripe bananas, give these muffins a try - the cherries make a perfect pairing!
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Fresh Corn & Cherry Salad with Sweet Cucumber Vinaigrette 10 of 11
    Fresh Corn & Cherry Salad with Sweet Cucumber Vinaigrette
    Cherries are often overlooked as a potential salad ingredient - sweet and juicy, they go well with greens, and in this version, fresh corn too. You can't get much more summery than this!
    Cheeky Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Preserved Cherries 11 of 11
    Preserved Cherries
    When you really have a lot of cherries on hand, learn to preserve them to make any of these recipes once fresh stone fruits are gone once again for the winter!
    Simple Bites has the recipe!

Related: Writer Suzan Colon explains how eating cherries in winter helped her family get through hard times

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