One of my absolute favourite times of the year is harvest season for fresh Ontario Cherries! Ranier cherries are delicious, and so are most other US-bred cherries, but there’s just something to be said for those sweet, deep-purple fleshed Ontario sweet cherries that makes my tastebuds weep with joy!
…too florid? My apologies. I just love fresh cherries *that* much.
So much, in fact, that the taste of artificial cherries is absolutely disgusting to me. Who in their right mind, who has ever tasted the awesome power of a fresh cherry, would ever be satisfied with this pale, chemical-tasting, artificial cherry flavour?
I wrote a post a few years ago, on another blog that is sadly now defunct, on the evils of the artificial Maraschino and glace cherry. While I will not go into exhaustive recount of that well-researched blog post, I will include the link here to Wikipedia’s page on Maraschino cherries, and point out the last sentence on the page, where Wikipedia reports the well-publicized ban on certain Red and Yellow food dyes that were proven to increase the likelihood of cancer:
“The ban on Red Number 4 was lifted in 1965 to allow the coloring of maraschino cherries, which are considered mainly decorative and not a foodstuff.” (emphasis mine)
So, why oh why do people continue to eat these things, when the FDA doesn’t even consider them food?
Ok, I am off my soapbox and will get on to the purpose of this post: Fresh Cherry Filling!
I’m making this delicious delight, not for a pie, as one might imagine, but as the filling for something even better; a nice big Black Forest Cake, which I will be baking and assembling for a family party this weekend!. While I have not yet made the cherry filling or the cake yet, I do intend on posting pictures of the process post-weekend so that all may enjoy and maybe attempt one themselves!
Here’s the recipe I will be using this evening, after I spent over an hour hand-pitting 3 lbs of cherries:
This is a great way to use fresh cherries.
- 5 to 6 cups fresh pitted cherries (about 2 ½-3lbs.)
- ½ cup cold water
- 1¼ cup white sugar
- 4 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. almond extract (optional)
Mix cornstarch and cold water together in a measuring cup until cornstarch dissolves.
Add all ingredients to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir to combine.
Bring mixture to a boil; immediately reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.
Cool slightly before using.