When we went fruit picking last summer, I was slightly disappointed that the cherry trees had all been picked over. I was anticipating sweet cherries fresh from the tree that we could enjoy right on the spot. Instead, we were in a forest of cherry trees full of tart and sour cherries. Some folks that were nearby were really upset that the sweet cherries were all gone and stormed off to find another area to wander through. But since we were already there, I figured I'd pick what I could and find a way to use it. Little did I know that the cherries I brought home were perfect for baking. Since they were so tart and sour, I had the ability to sweeten them in recipes by adding sugar and making it work in various desserts. Now, my only regret was that I didn't pick more of those tart cherries... and I plan on bringing as much as possible this coming summer on our next summer fruit picking trip in Indiana and Michigan.
If you don't have access to fresh tart cherries, feel free to use frozen tart cherries. They may be tricky to find but they do exist! And once you get your hands on them, you'll wonder where they've been all your life...
Sour Cherry Topping
recipe from Better Homes & Gardens
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
2 cups fresh or frozen tart cherries, pitted
1 tablespoon orange juice
In a medium saucepan stir together sugar and cornstarch; stir in water. Add cherries. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly; remove from heat.
Stir in orange juice. Serve warm or cooled to room temperature. (Cover and chill any leftovers for up to 3 days.)