[NAFEX] nafex Digest, Vol 70, Issue 22
b.harrick at ilslaunch.com
Thu Nov 13 07:05:23 EST 2008
Hi all. Thanks Stephen and Don for your wonderful replies--I have them
printed and tucked away for next year.
The Northstar is 2 years old in my yard--probably 4-5 in real life; the
Montmorency has 1 year in my yard and probably the same in real life
years as the Northstar. They are both about 5 feet tall. This is the
first year I have gotten more than just a few cherries--enough from both
trees to make one pie, so they are still young trees.
Don, you have solved my browning mystery. I picked the cherries, had
them in the fridge until there were "enough" to freeze. Then into the
refrigerator's freezer as you suspected. Next year, they will all be
frozen individually and put in the "real" freezer. Now I will also look
up Meteor cherries!
Is it necessary to pit them before freezing?
Has anyone grown Balaton cherries?
Stephen, I did not make squirrel pie, but I have made dove pie in the
past....My grandmother used to make squirrel stew. I love all of the
cherry applications you mentioned and thanks for including the
processing procedures--I need to add more cherry trees!!!! I never even
thought to use food coloring.
Jerry, I am jealous, I can only use a bb/pellet here--the squirrels jump
up in the air when hit and are back within 15 minutes....sigh.....
Thanks again for all of your replies and wisdom!! Barbara
Senior Technical Editor/Writer
International Launch Services
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Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2008 10:41:36 -0800
From: "Stephen Sadler" <Docshiva at Docshiva.org>
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] pie cherries
To: "'North American Fruit Explorers'" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Did you make the pie from birds and squirrels, or just squirrels? ;-)
How old and how tall are your cherry trees?
The best way to keep the color of sour cherries for pie is to make the
filling from fresh and then can it. You should be able to find a recipe
cherry pie filling for canning, or I can post one. Basically, you cook
the filling ingredients except lemon juice and cherries until thick, add
lemon juice and cherries, cook a minute, put into jars and BWB 25
pints or quarts. Canned filling has good color. You can add red food
coloring at 5 drops per quart, if you wish. It's also handy - you can
up a pie in no time with a purchased crust, or speed the process with
homemade crust, or make crumbles, dumplings, turnovers, buckles, grunts,
You can dry pack and get some better color by freezing stemmed, washed,
drained, pitted cherries on a baking sheet (or for best color, flash
with dry ice in a cooler box); then vacuum seal and put in the deep
They'll hold better and longer, with less discoloration - but not
necessarily 'cherry red'.
You can also wet pack your prepared cherries by stirring 3/4 cup sugar
each quart of fruit, or place in rigid freezer containers and cover with
cold sugar syrup. Wet packing will improve the frozen color, and you can
color up the syrup with red food coloring. For the sake of full
I'll note that I just about never use wet packs. I dry pack if I want
utility - the cherries can be used for a variety of purposes without
adjusting recipes for the sugar in place; sugar syrup also dilutes the
cherries, although the flavor doesn't really suffer.
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2008 17:32:05 -0500
From: Don Yellman <don.yellman at webformation.com>
Subject: [NAFEX] Freezing Tart Cherries
To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Message-ID: <491B5965.4000809 at webformation.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
If your tart cherries are browning in their freezer containers, the
problem is not the variety but something in your freezing technique or
the type of storage you are using. Northstar and Montmorency should
freeze bright red, and stay that way for up to two years in deepfreeze
storage. We have been freezing these cherries for over 30 years, and
browning is not a problem, although I don't know what "brick-red" means.
No cherry is going to be exactly the same color it was on the tree once
it has been made into sauce, a pie or cobbler.
Processing of tart cherries should immediately follow picking. You
can't let them stand around much before pitting and bagging. Use
ziplock freezer bags, and evacuate all possible air before sealing the
zipper. Add 1/2 cup sugar to each bag, and squish the sugar around to
help it go into solution in the juice. Sugar is a natural preservative,
and fights browning. Once the bags are filled, place them immediately
in deepfreeze storage. The freezer section of an ordinary refrigerator
is not adequate, since these units undergo a defrost cycle twice in each
24 hour period. We also have Meteor cherries, which are
indistinguishable from Montmorency aside from the genetic size control
of the trees.
There are no cherry varieties out there that offer better color
retention than those you already have.
Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
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