Cherries are probably one of my favorite things about summer. I know there's a lot of things I could say that about, things like ice cream, peaches, barbecues, lobster rolls, and the list could go on and on. Cherries, however, will always, always, always be at the top of the list. They're one of those fruits that I will only eat fresh, and summer is the only time to get them. Whenever I see a good deal on cherries at the supermarket, I tend to stock up because I know they just won't last. They're the kind of fruit that I will empty the entire four pound bag into a bowl, and just eat by myself. I'll pick at them while I watch television; whenever I walk by my kitchen I'll take a moment to eat a few; I pack them in my bag to bring to work. For me, it's never truly a great summer until I've eaten my weight in cherries.
I've never really liked cooking with cherries because I always feel so bad about doing it. I'll explain. First of all, cherries are one of the more expensive fruits that you can buy, even in the summer when they're readily available, so things like cherry pie can get pricey rather quick. Second, and probably more important, cherries are just so good eaten fresh, right off the stem. I feel terrible eating them in any other way, because I feel like I'm not enjoying them in their best state! Regardless, every summer I gather all my strength and convince myself to make at least one thing with cherries, because after all, things with cherries in them are still pretty darn tasty. I mean, I don't think I'll ever turn down a slice of cherry pie or a scoop of warm cherry clafoutis...so this weekend, I did the unthinkable. I bought two giant bags of cherries, and made not one, but TWO delicious things with them.
First up was a cherry sorbet. I'm usually an ice cream girl all the way, but every now and then I appreciate a really good sorbet. They're refreshing in a way that ice cream isn't, and sometimes that's what I'm after. The idea to make a sorbet popped into my head after I read this Serious Eats article on the science behind sorbets. Serious Eats, in case you guys don't know, is like my favorite thing on the Internet to read. I'm addicted. They publish so much great content about food and restaurants, and I can never get enough. I won't go into detail about what the article talked about so that you can read it for yourself, but I'm sure you'll learn a thing or two as well! Anyway, that article was what got me thinking about sorbet and how delicious a cherry sorbet had to be. I knew that if I was going to make anything with cherries, a sorbet would be a great way to use them while still preserving their fresh flavor.
I don't think anything gets easier to make than a sorbet. As long as you have your ice cream maker bowl frozen in advance (mine is usually kept frozen nowadays), you could have sorbet in just a few hours...and that's only freezing time! This cherry sorbet took about five minutes to blend together, a few hours to chill in the fridge, and then went for a quick spin in my ice cream maker. It was that fast! The most time-consuming part of the whole process was pitting the cherries...it's a messy, slightly annoying process, but there's no way around it. Since the cherries don't need to be kept whole, you don't need a cherry pitter to remove the pits- you can simply use a knife to slice the cherries in half and then pry the pits out (kind of like an avocado). Once the cherries are pitted, you're good to go! I found a scant cup to be on the sweet side, so I would recommend starting with 3/4 cup sugar and adding a little more sugar at a time to taste. This cherry sorbet was a perfect way to use up my beloved summer cherries; it's simple and refreshing, just like when they're eaten fresh. Enjoy!
recipe from Serious Eats
4 cups pitted cherries
1 cup granulated sugar, scant
3 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon rum
Blend the cherries, sugar, lime juice, rum, and salt in a blender until smooth. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl, pressing hard on the solids. Discard the solids. Cover the bowl with the cherry mixture with plastic wrap, then place in the refrigerator until well chilled, about three hours.
Once the cherry mixture is well chilled, freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the sorbet to a freezer safe container and freeze until solid, about four hours. Enjoy!