Our Most Succulent Sweet and Sour Cherry Recipes
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.
The signature dessert of the region, gâteau basque is made by sandwiching a layer of jam or sweet pastry cream between two shortbread-like rounds. Cherry preserves are a classic filling—choosing a good-quality jam makes all the difference—and the dough itself resembles a cookie dough, with additional eggs lending a cakier texture. It can also be baked in a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom; just be sure to grease the sides with butter before assembling. Get the recipe for Cherry Gateau Basque »
Serve this summer fruit crisp with a cup of coffee for breakfast or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. Get the recipe for Sour Cherry Crumble »
Vanilla, lemon zest, and cinnamon add oomph to the filling of this rustic lattice-top pie. Get the recipe for Sour Cherry Pie »
Cherries and cherry tomatoes bake down together into a savory-sweet layer under a sweet biscuit topping in this recipe from chef Amanda Cohen. Get the recipe for Cherry Tomato and Cherry Cobbler »
The sweetness of cherries balances the saltiness of halloumi in this simple summer salad, perfect for a side or a main dish. Get the recipe for Grilled Halloumi and Cherry Salad »
Serve this creamy, sweet baked ricotta dish as an appetizer, as part of a cheese course, or for dessert paired with shortbread cookies. Get the recipe for Baked Ricotta with Orange Blossom-Cherry Sauce
Video: Classic Latinx Dessert With a Twist | Cornbread Tres Leches | Pastries with Paola (Food & Wine)
The classic combination of pork and fruit gets the ultimate summer treatment in this dish from John Karangis of Union Square Events. Made tender in an aromatic braise, pork belly gets a quick char on a hot grill before resting atop buttery sweet corn and a relish of sweet and sour cherries tossed with jalapeños and a honey-lime vinaigrette. Get the recipe for Grilled Pork Belly with Butter Corn and Sour-Sweet Cherry-Jalapeño Relish »
A classic piña colada gets an extra deep flavor with the addition of smoky roasted cherries. Get the recipe for Roasted Cherry Colada »
Not only wonderful to sip, this “cocktail” is delicious poured over vanilla ice cream or pound cake. Get the recipe for Brandied Cherries
Roasted cherries appear in three ways in this twist in an Old Fashioned—in cherry-infused vodka, muddled at the bottom, and thrown on top as a garnish. Get the recipe for Cherry Old Fashioned »
An eggy, crêpe-like batter dotted with sweet cherries and baked, clafoutis is an easy breakfast that reads fancy and takes only minutes to whip together. Get the recipe for Cherry Clafoutis
This sweet-tart cherry, cilantro, and walnut salad is delicious on its own or as a relish for grilled meats or fish. Get the recipe for Cherry & Herb Salad »
Sweet and tangy, this Hungarian cake pairs perfectly with coffee. Frozen and thawed cherries can be used whenever fresh sour cherries are not in season. Get the recipe for Hungarian Sour Cherry Cake »
Savory-sweet ketchup is a great way to use soft, less-than-perfect cherries—it makes a great stand-in for barbecue sauce in just about any application. If their season has already passed, frozen cherries work just as well. Get the recipe for Sweet Cherry Ketchup »