We are wrapping up another great year of cherry harvest up here in Washington state and while it is nice that the Stemilt team can finally catch their breath and enjoy their final days of summer, watching the hustle and bustle of cherry season slow down always tugs at my heartstrings a bit.
While I wish we could have fresh cherries always and forever, preserving them is the next best solution. Whether you are stocking up so you can enjoy these sweet summer gems in the midst of winter or you just have too many cherries to know what to do with, freezing cherries is a super easy solution that anyone can do.
To get started, all you need is a freezer, a baking sheet, parchment paper, a freezer-safe gallon bag, a cherry pitter (or chopstick or paperclip – learn how to pit cherries without a cherry pitter here) and of course, cherries. First, lay out a piece of parchment or wax paper onto a baking sheet and flatten as much as possible. You don’t want the cherries rolling into each other while they are in the freezer, so it is important to get the surface as flat as possible. After the surface is flat, then it is time to start removing the stems and pitting the cherries until you can fill the tray. Place the cherries on the parchment paper (without touching one another) and place the tray into the freezer. Freeze the cherries for about four to six hours (or overnight if you can). After they have sat the appropriate amount of time, transfer them from the baking sheet to a freezer-safe gallon bag and voila! Frozen cherries that are ready for your enjoyment when the time is right.
Frozen cherries taste delicious as a refreshing snack or you can thaw them out and use in a variety of different recipes! Below I listed a few recipe ideas that frozen cherries will work great in. Also, don’t forget to check out our video below on how to freeze cherries! And, of course, if you have a fun way to freeze cherries or other useful tips, let us know in the comments below!
Here are a few recipes to try with frozen cherries:
Cherry Frose: Toss some frozen cherries in with a bottle of your favorite Rose to get this must-try summertime drink!
Dairy Free Cherry & Apple Smoothie: This Dairy-Free Cherry & Apple Smoothie is a great way to utilize frozen cherries!
Easy Cherry Crisp: When you are the mood for a little baking, this easy Cherry Crisp is guaranteed to make your taste buds happy.