It can be frustrating to try a new recipe and not understand how much of an ingredient to purchase at the store. Sometimes they give you a quantity of cherries in volume (2 cups), sometimes as a weight (4 ounces) and still others the cherries are given as a produce description (1 pound of fresh cherries). But what are they really talking about? How many cherries are in a pound? In order to help make cooking easier we did some experiments to help tell you exactly how many cherries you need to buy.
To answer How many cherries in a cup we went to the local market to check out the fruit section. There are several varieties, but only 2 categories of cherries: sour/tart (brighter red and a little smaller in size) and sweet (darker red to a purple color and slightly larger in size). Since the grocery store only carried sweet ones, we selected 1 pound of fresh sweet cherries for our how many cherries in a cup testing samples. After calling around, we were also able to track down 1 pound of fresh sour cherries for comparison.
The tart or sour ones are smaller and don't keep very well once they've been picked. These can rarely be found fresh in the local grocery store because they do not ship well; sometimes sour cherries can be found at a farmers' market. More often these are immediately processed into cans, frozen or dried. They are great when baked into pies, preserves and other desserts.
One pound of sour fresh stemless cherries with pits equals 2.5 to 3 cups or 80 cherries. Once you remove the pits, you're left with about 2.5 cups of sour cherries. You can squeeze 1.5 cups of cherry juice from 1 pound of sour cherries. Interested in making a cherry pie? You'll need about 4 to 5 cups or about 250 stemless cherries with pits to produce this pastry. A 21 ounce can of cherry pie filling will give you about 2.3 cups where a 16 ounce can of plain tart cherries in juice only about 2 cups.
Most of the fresh cherries we see in the grocery store are the sweet ones. These are also good for baking but they are also a luscious treat when you just pop them into your mouth raw! Like sour cherries, sweet cherries can also be frozen or canned.
One pound of sweet fresh stemless cherries with pits yields about 3 cups. Once you remove the pits, the larger size sweet cherries yield between 1.5 to 1.75 cups. One cup fresh, sweet Cherries weighs about 5 oz (140 grams).
Did you know that unlike other stone fruits, cherries do not ripen once picked off the tree? Always buy completely ripe cherries but be careful their shelf life is only about 4 days in the refrigerator. In addition to their wonderful fruit, the cherry tree is also known for its beautiful flowers.
Next time your recipe calls for a cup of pitted cherries you'll feel confident knowing what type and quantity you need. You can also use our conversion tool below for any custom how many cherries in a... measurements you need. If you are pitting a lot of fresh cherries by hand you should definitely look into getting a good cherry pitter. I would recommend theOXO Cherry Pitter. This handy gadget is inexpensive and will greatly speed up the process.
Sweet cherries are either eaten plain or as part of a fruit salad.
Tart cherries are used for baking pies, cobblers and cakes; they are excellent when cooked up as preserves or jams.
Discard any cherries with broken skin; refrigerate unwashed cherries in a bowl loosely covered with plastic wrap. Cherries are not prone to chill-injury and can be stored anywhere in the refrigerator, even its coolest areas. Cherries will last for 2 to 4 days.
You can freeze fresh cherries, but they should be pitted first, otherwise they will take on an almond flavor from the pit. All well-packaged cherries will last 10 to 12 months in the freezer at 0°F (-17.8°C).
You can either freeze whole, pitted sweet cherries in 40 percent syrup (4 cups water plus 3 cups sugar) with 1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid (or citrus juice) added per quart of liquid, or without liquid in plastic bags with all the air removed. Some cooks prefer to freeze separated cherries on a cookie sheet and then pack in bags for freezing.
To freeze sour or tart cherries for pie filling, stir 3/4 cup of sugar into each quart of pitted, whole sour cherries. Pack in rigid airtight containers with 1/2 inch headspace or airtight bags.
One of the biggest hassles when cooking and working in the kitchen is when a recipe calls for "the juice of 1 lime" or a similar measurement. Often times when cooking people use bottled juices, pre-sliced vegetables and other convenient cooking time savers. Produce Converter will help you convert the "juice of 1 lime" and other similar recipe instructions into tablespoons, cups and other concrete measurements.
Produce Converter can also be used to figure out how many vegetables to buy when you need, for instance, "A cup of diced onion." You can use our easy conversion tool to figure out exactly how many onions you need to buy at the store in order to end up with the amount you need for your cooking.
We hope you enjoy Produce Converter and if you have any suggestions for how we can improve it and make your cooking easier please let us know.