My mother-in-law is in New Zealand for a few weeks, teaching quilting classes half way around the world (it’s a hard knock life), so the girls and I have been stopping by her house a couple times a week to make sure the mail gets taken inside, and the place hasn’t burnt to the ground.
She bought this house this year, so when the tree in the backyard started producing cherries, she couldn’t even venture a guess as to what kind of cherries it would produce. I asked if I could pick a few, and she laughed, and promised me the whole lot. I was thrilled that they started coming ripe last week, until I bit into one and realized these were not the sweet cherries I was familiar with. I did a quick internet search and realized they were pie cherries, but past that I had no idea what to do with them.
Friends pointed me towards sour cherry jam and dehydrated cherries, both of which sounded wonderful, so each time we’ve been out, I’ve picked a couple cups worth, until I had an enormous 12 cups bowls worth in the fridge.
I had to throw out about a quarter of the cherries, either for worm damage, or being under or overripe. I took the remaining cherries and washed them, pitted them, and put them into the dehydrator overnight. Dehydrated cherries (or cherry raisins as my kids call them) would be great in bread, muffins, granola… i had grand plans for my cups and cups of cherry raisins.
Hmm. 9 cups of cherries = 3/4 cup of cherry raisins. I probably should have made jam.