Chyrel's Recipes From Friends

National Cherry Month Newsletter

February is National Cherry Month and although fresh cherries are not in the market as yet, at least not in Oregon, we wanted to share some wonderful cherry recipes using fresh and canned sweet and sour cherries and dried cherries. Hope you find some recipes which will find their way to your table.


This news letter is from an AOL food chat and is printed here at Recipes From Friends with permission of host Judee.

Welcome back Around Our Kitchen Table. Since February is National Cherry Month it is only appropriate to feature Cherries Recipes tonight. Their pretty color and sweet, tantalizing taste make cherries the perfect fruit for Valentine's Day too. In February we also celebrate President's Day, and again, cherries add their bright red color to patriotic desserts.

Children are told the tale of young George Washington and how he could not lie to his father about chopping down a cherry tree. Although historians say the story is a myth, cherries and George Washington are forever tied together in this legend. Cherries have become a symbol of his birthday and Americans continue to celebrate Presidents’ Day on February 21st and Washington’s Birthday on February 22nd by eating cherry pie.

Though summer is fresh cherry season, canned and frozen cherries, preserved at the peak of goodness, are available year' round for your favorite recipes. Tart cherries are used in a variety of recipes including the traditional cherry pie. Other than those that are locally grown and sold at farmers markets or orchards in late spring, tart cherries are rarely sold fresh. Most are canned and sold as sour cherries, pie cherries, or cherry pie fillings.

Canned and frozen sweet cherries are a tasty ingredients in many recipes. They're also ready to eat and delicious straight from the can or freezer. The most popular canned sweet cherries are reddish purple to deep purple Bing Cherries and golden yellow to rosy pink Royal Anne Cherries.

Dried cherries, a relatively new cherry product, are delicious as snacks, wonderful in salads, and increasingly popular in recipes for everything from appetizers to entrees and desserts. Dried cherries, cherry juice, cherry jam, cherry jelly, and a variety of fresh and frozen cherry pies, cakes and pastries are sold in supermarkets any time of year.

Cherry Tips

It takes about 4 cups of tart cherries to make one - 9" pie.
There's about 2 cups of tart cherries in one 16 ounce can.
There's about 2-1/3 cups of cherry pie filling in a 21 oz. can.
There's about 3 cups of frozen cherries in a pound.
Add cherry pie filling to an angel food cake or a pound cake for a luscious, colorful dessert cake.
Use cherry pie filling to quickly transform a cheesecake, brownies or cupcakes into a festive red dessert for Valentine's Day, Christmas, or any Patriotic holiday.

Cherry-Pineapple Cheese Ball

Best if prepared a few hours in advance.

1/4 cup maraschino cherries
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Drain the maraschino cherries on paper towels. Chop fine, then drain again. Beat softened cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the chopped cherries and drained crushed pineapple Refrigerate for about 1 hour. Shape the mixture into a 4" ball. Roll the ball in chopped nuts to cover the outer surface. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 to 3 hours.
***End of Recipe***

More Cherry Facts:

1 pound fresh cherries equals 2 1/2 to 3 cups pitted cherries.

One pound of frozen cherries equals about 3 cups;

It takes 4 to 5 cups of tart cherries to make a pie.

There are about 2 1/3 cups cherry pie filling in a 21-ounce can.

There are about 2 cups of tart cherries in a 16-ounce can.

It takes 6 to 8 pounds of fresh tart cherries to make 1 pound of dried cherries
Cherry Lemon Cooler

3 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup Northwest fresh sweet cherries, halved and pitted
1 cup fresh lemon juice, refrigerated
Crushed ice
1 bottle (1 liter) club soda or seltzer
Northwest fresh sweet cherries with stems
4 long stems fresh mint

Combine water and sugar in small saucepan; add halved cherries. Bring mixture to boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Strain syrup into container with tight fitting lid; discard cherries. Refrigerate syrup until cold. Fill a tall 12 to 16-ounce glass with ice. Pour 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/3 cup syrup over ice and top with club soda. Garnish with cherries and mint. Makes 4 servings.

Tip: Leftover syrup may be stored, refrigerated, up to one week.
***End of Recipe***


1/2 cup seedless raisins
6 thin orange slices
6 thin lemon slices
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 stick cinnamon
2 cups water
2 cups sliced fresh peaches
1 1/2 cups pitted sour cherries
3/4 cup sugar (approximately)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

In saucepan, combine first 6 ingredients. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick. Add peaches, cherries and sugar. Bring to a boil. Blend cornstarch with a little water. Add to fruit mixture. Cook, stirring about one minute or until clear. Adjust sugar for tartness of sour cherries. Serve chilled. If desired, garnish with sour cream. Makes 6 servings.
***End of Recipe***

Colorful addition to potluck suppers.

1 (21-ounce) can cherry filling and topping
1 (16-ounce) container low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup slivered almonds1/2 teaspoon almond extract, or to taste
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
Fresh mint leaves

Combine cherry filling, cottage cheese, almonds and almond extract; mix well. Fold in whipped topping. Let chill until ready to serve. Garnish with mint leaves, if desired. Serve as a salad, dessert or snack. Makes 6 servings.
***End of Recipe***

Cherry and Smoked Turkey Salad

12 ounces smoked turkey, sliced
2 cups Northwest fresh sweet cherries, pitted
1 mango*, pared and sliced
1 kiwi fruit, sliced
Napa cabbage, shredded
Spicy Dressing

Arrange turkey, cherries, mango and kiwi fruit on shredded Napa cabbage. Drizzle Spicy Dressing over salad. Makes 4 servings.

Spicy Dressing:
Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 1 clove crushed garlic until hot but not smoking; cool and remove garlic. Add 2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon each honey and hot dry mustard** and 1/2 teaspoon each ground ginger and salt; mix well. Makes about 1/3 cup.

*One large nectarine may be substituted for mango.
**One tablespoon of your favorite mustard may be substituted.
***End of Recipe***

Patty's Zippy Pork Tenderloin

1-1/2 to 2-lb. pork tenderloin
1-1/2 cups orange juice
Zest from 1 orange
1/4 cup dried tart cherries, chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped medium
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream

Butterfly the tenderloin and set aside. In a small mixing bowl combine the orange juice, zest, tart cherries, jalapeno and olive oil. Mix well and pour into a gallon-size enclosable plastic bag or nonreacting dish. Add the tenderloin and cover. Refrigerate two to four hours, turning occasionally.

Preheat broiler on high. Remove the tenderloin from the marinade and place the meat on a lightly oiled broiler pan. Broil 6-8 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and heat to a boil, reducing the liquid by half. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the heavy cream, stirring constantly until a smooth consistency is achieved, about two minutes. The sauce will be a medium thickness, but will impart a magnificently tangy-hot flavor.

Remove tenderloin from rack, pour sauce over the meat and serve immediately.
Makes two to four servings.
***End of Recipe***

Cherry Stuffed Grilled Chicken

1-1/2 cups pitted and coarsely chopped Northwest fresh sweet cherries
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon each salt and chopped fresh thyme
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4 to 6 oz. each)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

Combine cherries, onion, sage, salt and thyme; mix well. Cut a pocket on the thicker side of the chicken breast; sprinkle lightly with salt if desired. Stuff 1/4 of cherry mixture into the pocket; close opening with metal skewers or wooden picks. Combine oil, vinegar, garlic salt and pepper; mix well. Marinate stuffed chicken breasts 1/2 hour in refrigerator. Broil or grill chicken breasts, brushing with marinade, until fully cooked and juices run clear when sliced. Makes 4 servings.

Oven Method: Brown stuffed chicken in oven-safe skillet on both sides. Bake at 375° F 12 to 15 minutes or until juices run clear.
***End of Recipe***

Sweet Cherry Sauce in Meringue Shells

3 cups Northwest fresh sweet cherries, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 egg whites (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
dash of salt

Toss cherries with orange juice and refrigerate to completely chill. Add almond extract, cream of tartar and salt to egg whites; beat until frothy. Gradually add sugar; beat until very stiff peaks form and sugar is completely dissolved. Cover baking sheet with ungreased plain or parchment paper; draw eight 3-1/2 -inch circles on paper. Spread each circle with 1/3 cup meringue; shape with back of spoon to make shells. Bake at 275oF 1 hour. Turn off heat; leave meringues in over 1-1/2 hours longer. Fill each meringue shell with cherries. Makes 8 servings.
***End of Recipe***

Triple Cherry Pie

2 1/2 cups fresh, sweet Northwest cherries (about 1 pound), pitted
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen tart cherries (about 1 pound), pitted
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pastry for 2-crust, 9-inch pie
1 tablespoon butter, chopped

Combine tart cherries, sweet cherries, dried cherries, sugar, tapioca, almond extract and nutmeg in a large bowl; mix well. Let stand 15 minutes. (It is not necessary to thaw frozen tart cherries before using.)

Line a 9-inch pie plate with half the pastry. Fill with cherry mixture; dot with butter. Roll out remaining pastry and cut into six strips about 1-inch wide and 10-inches long. Weave into a lattice pattern over cherries. Trim edges, pinching top and bottom crusts together.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven 50 to 60 minutes, or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. If necessary, cover edge of crust with aluminum foil to prevent over browning. Let cool before serving. Makes 8 servings.
***End of Recipe***


1 cup walnut pieces, divided
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. flake coconut

2 - 8 oz. pkgs.cream cheese, softened
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 lg. can cherry pie filling

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13X9X2-inch pan with shortening. Set aside.

Chop 1/2 cup nuts coarsely for topping. Set aside. Chop remaining 1/2 cup finely.

For crust, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in shortening until fine crumbs form. Add 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts and coconut. Mix well. Remove 1/2 cup. Set aside.

Press remaining crumbs in bottom of pan. Bake at 350° for 12 - 15 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.

For filling, beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla in small bowl at med. speed of electric mixer until smooth. Spread over hot baked crust. Return to oven.
Bake 15 minutes longer. Spread cherry pie filling over cheese layer. Combine reserved coarsely chopped nuts and reserved crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over cherries. Return to oven. Bake 15 minutes longer. Cool. Refrigerate several hours. Cut into bars. Serves about 12 - 16 people.
***End of Recipe***

Cherry Zucchini Bread

2 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup shredded unpeeled zucchini
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup dried tart cherries
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons baking powder

Put eggs in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed 3 to 4 minutes, or until eggs are thick and lemon colored. Add sugar, oil, lemon juice and water; mix well.

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, soda and salt. Add flour mixture to egg mixture; mix well. Stir in zucchini, cherries and lemon peel.

Grease and flour the bottom only of an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pan. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in a preheated 350F.oven 55 to 65 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 1 loaf, about 16 slices
***End of Recipe***

Cherry Upside Down Cake


1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups tart cherries (pitted)
Melt the 1/4 cup margarine in a 9" pan. Add cherries mixed with the 1/2 cup sugar.

Cake Portion;

Mix together the following seven items together in a bowl and pour over the cherries in the 9" pan.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
3 Tbsps melted margarine

Bake about 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven. IMMEDIATELY after baking, invert and put on a serving plate. Makes 12 servings.
***End of Recipe***



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