Over the past ten years, I have created a handful of fresh cherry recipes, both sweet and savory. These recipes with fresh cherries are ones that I make again and again during the summer months when this ruby-hued fruit is in season. Do yourself a favor and buy a big bag, because many of my recipes are great for making double batches and saving some for later. This is especially helpful because the season for this fruit is short and this allows you to enjoy them all year.

This collection of fresh cherry recipes includes everything from drinks to desserts, even a savory recipe, which is one of my all-time favorites.

Overhead shot of cherry hand pies with fresh cherries in between them.

Fresh cherry season begins at the end of May or beginning of June and ends in late summer. As the fruit is ready, it rolls in to the stores from different locations. California cherries are usually first on the scene.

Fresh cherry recipes

The most important ingredient in any of these recipes is the cherry. Fresh, plump cherries, to be exact. Look for fruit that isn’t wrinkled or dried out looking. Look for smooth skin and firm fruit. If the cherries look a bit brown, bruised or puckered, that means they have seen better days and you should pass over them.

All of my recipes are for sweet cherries, as that is what is generally available in the stores. Sour cherries are difficult to find fresh, unless you happen to get lucky, or you live in Michigan – the sour cherry capital.

Fresh cherry desserts

Most of the recipes with fresh cherries that we are all familiar with are sweet recipes. Cherry desserts are everywhere in the summertime – from pies to cobblers and crisps, cakes, and ice cream. Baking with cherries is something that most of us do every year, as did our moms and grandmothers.

Cherry crumb cake slices on white plates with fresh cherries in background.

FAQ’s about cherries

How to store fresh cherries?

The key to storing cherries is keeping them dry and cold. Do not wash them before storing them, added moisture can lead to spoilage. Store in plastic bags or containers. I always add a paper towel in the bag to help pull moisture away from the fruit. Stored properly, they will last a little over a week in the fridge.

Can I freeze fresh cherries?

Yes! The best method for freezing fresh cherries is to give them a rinse in cold water, then make sure they are completely dry. Remove the stem and the pits. Place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze for about 5 hours. Place them in a bag and freeze for up to 6 months.

How to choose the best cherries?

For fresh cherry recipes, look for fruit with a deep color. If the stem is intact, a green stem is a sign of freshness. Cherries should be firm and not wrinkled or bruised.
If you have a Rainier cherry craving, the cherries that are a light blush color, look for the same as above. It will not be a deep color, but everything else applies.

Fresh cherry slush with coconut rum in clear glasses with cobalt blue rims.

According to healthline, fresh cherries are packed with anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. They are also high in polyphenols, plant chemicals that help fight cellular damage, reduce inflammation, and promote overall health.

Therefore, I feel like I am doing my body a favor by eating my fill of them every summer.

Fresh cherry recipes require a little work, but thankfully it’s nothing too difficult. The pits and stems need to be removed before we can use them.

A cherry pitter is without a doubt your most valuable tool when it comes to working with fresh cherries. You can use a small paring knife, but a pitter is faster and quite honestly, safer.

Sweet cherry clafoutis in white baking dish.

I really hope you love these recipes. If you make any of them, snap a pic and share it with me either in the Fabulous Foodie Friends Facebook group or on Instagram by tagging @pookspantry and using hashtag #pookspantry.

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Pin image of cherry chutney in glass jar with bowl of cherries in background.

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Questions? Send me an email, I’m happy to help. I’d love to send you weekly tips and recipes, so you can get updates about what’s happening in the kitchen!

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