Plump and juicy, cherries—from candy-sweet to tangy and sour, deep red to golden yellow—are one of the best things about summer. One of our favorite ways to eat sweet cherries is fresh out of hand, ejecting the pebbly pits into a bowl, but the miniature stone fruits, especially the sour varieties, are also delicious baked into pies, crumbles, and cakes, or providing a splash of sweet-tart flavor to meat and rice dishes.
Throughout cherry season, which peaks in early to mid summer, you can find us at the oven baking up all sorts of delectable treats. Here are our favorite ways to take advantage of summer’s bounty of beautiful, ripe cherries.
Let’s start with breakfast. Our sour cherry cake is a staple in Hungarian markets in the summer. Paired with a cup of coffee, it’s sure to get your day off to a good start. Come lunch or dinner time, try using the little fruits in an herb salad or as a foil for spinach and grilled halloumi cheese—both pair nicely with grilled meat or fish.
And now for the main event: dessert. Start with clafoutis, a rustic yet elegant (and easy!) French dessert that calls for baking cherries in a thick crêpe batter. Or, for something with a citrusy kick, try our luscious baked ricotta topped with an orange blossom cherry sauce. Sour cherries also make a superlative pie or crumble—just be sure to toss with a sprinkling of sugar before baking to tame their tartness. Find these dishes and more in our collection of favorite fresh cherry recipes.