Cherries are harvested in the month of May and by end of summer it’s time to preserve them so it can be used during the off-season. Fresh fruits are sweet to taste and the color of their skin is deep red. The cherries can be preserved in many ways. In fact, it depends on how you plan to use them later. Like apple and peaches, cherries also freeze well. They can be dried, pickled, made into jam, canned and more. Preserved cherries can be used in baking, making smoothies, jellies, pies and cobblers.
You can use sweet as well as the sour cherries. Once you have decided to preserve the cherries, select freshly harvested fruits that are deep red in color and ripe. You can preserve them with or without seeds.
Preparing To Preserve
Remove the stem and wash the fruits well. If you want to pit, ensure that the pitted cherries are kept in cold water containing 4 to 5 vitamin C tablets or a teaspoon of powdered ascorbic acid in a gallon of water. This is down to prevent discolorations of the fruits. If you want to preserve it un-pitted, prick the skin on both sides with a clean needle to prevent the fruit from splitting.
Freezing the Cherries
These can be frozen in either sugar syrup or dry sugar.
- To make sugar syrup
- Sour Cherries – Dissolve 2.5 cups of sugar in four cups of water.
- Sweet Cherries – Dissolve 1 1/4 cups of sugar in 4 cups of water.
For a quarter kilogram of prepared fruits, add 1 cup of syrup.
- To Make a Dry Sugar Pack
- Sour Variety – For quart of the fruits mix 2/3 cups of castor sugar.
- Sweet Fruits– For quart of the fruits use 1/3 cup of castor sugar.
Mix the sugar well with these prepared fruits.
How To Pack Syrup Or Dry Cherries
For dry sugar packed ones leave 1/2 inch of head space in the freezer bags.
For syrup pack use either plastic freezer containers or tapered freezer jars. Here leave 1-inch head-space for syrup pack.
To Freeze The Cherry Without Sugar
You can freeze cherries pitted or with pits without in water, dry or unsweetened fruit juice like orange or grape juice. When thawed the texture will be soft. The sweet varieties should be frozen in shallow trays in single layer before packing them in the Ziploc freezer bags.
Frozen cherries can be used in salads and desserts.