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.
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