It was a picture perfect sunny day. Just the kind of day that makes fruit picking fun.We picked ten pounds at $2.00 per pound. If we bought these in the store we would have paid $5. per quart. That $20. for ten pounds is a lot better than for four quarts. That's one of the reasons we are pickers of our own fruit. It's way less expensive, you know exactly what's in the container and it's just fun.
But now, what to do with ten pounds of sweet cherries? Last year I had the same problem and after some searching for recipes using sweet cherries I found a recipe for a sweet cherry sauce. I made it, it was delicious in the middle of January over pound cake and topped with whipped cream. So today I made more.
Sweet Cherry Sauce: recipe found online from Everyday Southwest.com
3 pounds fresh sweet cherries or 2 pounds frozen cherries and one pound fresh
1/4 cups plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup cherry juice
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2teaspoon vanilla ( I like almond extract better for this)
Remove pits and stems from cherries and place 2 pounds in a small saucepan (you can use the frozen cherries for this step). Add water and sprinkle with sugar. Bring the cherries to a slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Place a fine sieve over a mixing bowl. Scoop the cherries into the sieve and press the cherries with a spoon to release the juice and pulp into the bowl. Scrape the skins out of the sieve.
Return the juice to the saucepan over medium heat and stir in the lemon juice. Combine the bottled cherry juice with the cornstarch and stir till there are no lumps. Slowly pour this into the saucepan and gently simmer till the juice reaches the desired thickness.
Just before removing the sauce from the heat, add the remaining one pound of pitted cherries and fold into the sauce. Allow the sauce to return to a boil and immediately remove from the heat. The cherries should retain their firm texture.
Let the sauce cool and pour into jars. Keeps in refrigerator for one week or freeze till January when you need a reminder of summer.