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Cherries - Give me some ideas

Well folks I have two cherry trees in the backyard and it looks like they will be putting out a substantial crop this year. Since A) there will be more than we can eat and B) one of the trees is showing very blemished cherries that my family won't touch, I'm looking for something to do with them. I'm leaning towards libations, so if anyone has any recipes they can suggest, I would appreciate it. Most cherry cider recipes seem to call for apples, and I don't want to wait around until the fall to do something so I'm looking for other options. I have found a cherry wine recipe, but I'm sure there are more ideas out there.



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I would also suggest making Cherry Jam. I did a little tutorial here when I made some last season.
My first thought was cherry wine or liquor (cherries, sugar, vodka and a non reactive, airtight container) but cherry jam also sounds great.

Edit - you could also try a cherry mead which would be something like 1 gallon of water, 4 or 5 lbs of honey, cherries, a handful of raisins and wine yeast. Boil up the water and honey and skim off the impurities, add washed and lightly crushed cherries to a demijohn along with the raisins, pour in the honey and water and leave to cool to room temp. Once that's done then add a spoonful of wine yeast and seal the demijohn with an airlock and leave it in a cool, dark place for a few months. After that you just need to siphon the liquid off the cherry mush and into another demijohn and age it before bottling. I'd look up a more detailed recipe than that, but there's the basic gist of it
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Well if I can't find a way to successfully make hooch out of it, jam will probably be the way to go.

YetiDave - I will keep the mead in mind. One of my friends was suggesting we do a batch this year, so maybe we can do a cherry variant.
I was just telling my fiancee the other day that I'd like to plant a cherry tree in our yard. Did you plant yours? If so, do you have any suggestions on variety, location, etc? There are cherry orchards in my area, so I know I have the weather for it.
I second the cherry liqueur. My father ad a friend from Lithuania and he used to make this all the time. He had many bottles aging in his cellar. Great stuff. I only wish I had his recipe.
Luke, I stumbled into this. We bought our house a couple of years ago and the trees came with it. I'm not even sure what the specific variety is, but it is a sweet cherry. I'm thinking its' a Bing, but I don't know for sure. Your best bet is always to deal with a good independent nursery in your area and see what they recommend. Most fruit trees now don't require two plants for pollination, but again, they'll advise you on that. I'm just about to start the process in search of an apple tree.
Paul, do you mean make a cherry pie, or do you mean make the filling and preserve it. I like both ideas, to be perfectly honest. This thread is really starting to get me excited.
Along the jam line... what about cherry butter? I bought a jar of cherry butter from some monks in the UP of Michigan and it's amazing


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Chopped cherry into ground venison makes some tasty burgers .. or use the cherries to make a glaze
Along with cherry pie, cherry preserves, and cherry liquor, they also work well as a desert soup (or a starter soup if tart like morellos), they are great in sauces for venison (you will also need pan drippings and port or red wine), and are very nice in a curried chicken salad. Pitting is a pain, but the rest is all pleasure.
Paul, do you mean make a cherry pie, or do you mean make the filling and preserve it. I like both ideas, to be perfectly honest. This thread is really starting to get me excited.
I figured you could only eat so much pie at a time, so making serveral jars of pie filling would seem to make sense. Seems to me that you need a specific corn starch to use when home canning pie fillings, though. I've got a bag of the stuff. It stands up to the heat, pressure and reheating when you back the pie.

How about a cherry infused vodka? That should be simple enough.
So many options. I could be eating cherry venison with cherry butter on the side, drinking cherry wine and having cherry pie and black forrest cake for dessert. Awesome.
Rob, you have yourself an enviable dilemma. Cherry jam sounds awesome, as well as homemade cherry ice-cream.

Either way, you're going to be popular with the neighbors
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