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What Are the Best Cherries for Pie?

Cherry pie

Do you know the difference between cherries you’d eat and those you’d use in baking or cooking? There are many different types of cherries, all with different hues, but they are divided into two categories: sweet and sour. That distinction may seem minor, but it’s critical to understand and remember when baking or cooking with cherry since there are some considerations to make — or you’ll wind up with a watery pie that tastes wincingly sour.

Don’t get us wrong: you can bake with any cherries you choose, but if you want to make a traditional cherry pie, only one type of cherry should be used: sour (or tart) cherries.

Cherry trees aren’t all created equal. There are two basic types: sour and sweet, each with its unique set of applications. Sweet cherries are sold in grocery shops and eaten straight, whereas sour cherries are difficult to consume on their own and are rarely sold fresh in supermarkets. Sweet cherries can be baked into pies, while sour (or tart) cherries are meant for pies. Continue reading to find out which cherries are best for pies.

Regular Cherries vs. Pie Cherries

When it comes to pie cherries vs. normal cherry, the biggest difference is the amount of sugar you’ll need to utilize. Pie cherries, also known as sour cherries, are not nearly as sweet as regular cherry and must be sweetened with a lot of sugar. If you’re following a recipe, check to see if sweet or sour cherries are required. Sour cherries are frequently used in recipes. You can swap one for the other, but the sugar will need to be adjusted as well. Otherwise, you can wind up with a pie that is either too sweet or too sour to eat. Furthermore, sour pie cherries are typically juicier than sweet cherries, and unless a little cornstarch is added, the pie will be runnier.

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Sweet cherry varieties:

  • Bing cherries, which are rich red in color and sweet.
  • Blackgold – late in the season. It’s ideal for eating raw. Self-fertile.
  • Brooks – a huge, firm red cherry that can withstand hot weather. Sweet, with a rich flavor profile and a sweet, tart blackberry flavor.
  • Chelan – similar to Bing, rich mahogany red, heart-shaped, medium-sized, tasty fruits. Sweet, with a sugar content of 16 to 18%.
  • Coral Champagne – a huge, red, extremely delicious fruit that is frequently chosen over Bing. The flesh is firm but delicious, with a coral pink center.
  • Emperor Francis has a white or blush complexion. Early season, sweet cherries are ideal for preserving, creating jellies and preserves, and making handmade maraschinos.
  • Hartland, a dark cherry that is available early in the season. It was created in New York as a Windsor cross.
  • Hedelfingen is a sweet cherry that ripens later in the season. The fruit is big and black.
  • Kristin cherries are a New York-bred mid-season cherry.
  • When compared to Bing, Lambert Cherry is a huge, black, late-harvest cherry of excellent quality.
  • The Lapins Cherry is a self-fruitful, huge, dark red sweet cherry with firm, good flavor from Canada. Ripens a few days after Bing and produces fruit after only 400 cooling hours or less.
  • Orondo Ruby – This sweeter, brighter Rainier cherry has a ruby red color with some gold tint. G&C farms’ Marcus Griggs discovered this in his Rainier cherry crop. They have a brighter red color and a sweeter, more acidic flavor.
  • Rainier cherries have a pink or crimson flush and are golden yellow in color. The cherries in the Rainier region are huge and tasty.
  • Mid-season Royalton cherries are huge, dark cherries.
  • Sam – a huge, black sweet cherry that ripens early. After Vista, it ripens 11 days later.
  • Skeena cherries ripen late in the season. They have a dark crimson color and are firm and delicious.
  • Somerset cherries are medium-sized, dark, and firm late-season cherry.
  • Sonata – Fruit that is really huge, black, and mildly sweet. Self-fertile.
  • Staccato cherries are a rich purple-red variety that comes in late in the season. Staccato cherries are huge and sweet, making them one of the most popular types.
  • Stella is a huge, sweet, dark-red fruit that ripens in the middle of the growing season.
  • Sweetheart cherries are a late-season, huge, bright red type with a medium sweetness.
  • Sunburst is a huge, firm fruit variety. Variety has a long history of production. Self-fertile.
  • Symphony – big, bright red fruit with a medium sweetness. This is the end of the season. Self-fertile.
  • Tehranivee is a Canadian mid-season cherry that was developed in Ontario. Cracking is a potential issue. Self-fertile.
  • Ulster is a medium-sized, firm, dark cherry that ripens 2 days after Vista.
  • Vandalay – A large red fruit with a kidney-shaped form. From the country of Canada. Self-fertile.
  • Viscount cherries are medium-large, firm, and good-quality dark red cherries. Ripening at the end of the season.
  • Vista – the cherry is dark, nearly black in color. Fruit of exceptional size and quality. It ripens around the last week of June, in the middle of the season.
  • Viva – a dark crimson, 3/4-inch Canadian fruit. Around July 4th, the fruit ripens.
  • White Gold is a blush cherry that ranges in size from medium to large.
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Sour Pie Cherries

Sour cherries aren’t normally available fresh. However, it is possible to get them canned at the grocery store. Alternatively, visit you could visit a farmer market. In fact, it is even possible to grow a tree of your own.

Sour cherry varieties:

  • Balaton Ujfeherto Furtos is a firm Hungarian sour cherry that is best picked by hand and eaten fresh. The skin and flesh are both red. After Montmorency, it ripens in 7 to 10 days.
  • The dark red fruit of Danube Erdi Botermo has a peculiar sweet-tart flavor. Fresh or baked items are both delicious. About a week before Montmorency, it ripens.
  • Dark-juice-tarts have red-colored juice rather than clear juice.
  • Jubileum – a brand-new Hungarian band. The meat is dark crimson and quite big. For a tart cherry, it’s sweet, but not nearly as tart as Montmorency.
  • Meteor – A medium-sized fruit with a unique pit shape. Ripen about 3 to 7 days after Northstar.
  • Montmorency, the most widely produced cherry, is used in pies, baking, and canning. Around the latter week of June to the first week of July, the fruit ripens.
  • The Morello Sour Cherry is a late-ripening tart dark red to nearly black cherry that can be eaten raw when completely ripe. Fruits grown in hot climates ( 500 hours or fewer chilling hours below 45 F) Self-fruitful. USDA
  • Northstar – Dark red, medium-sized fruit.
  • Cornell’s Surefire is a new late blooming cultivar. Fruit has a bright red color and a modest size.
  • Pick ripe cherries: Cherries, like peaches, continue to grow in size until they are fully ripe. They should be harvested when they are at their largest and most flavorful.
  • But not before they’re entirely ripe: Cherries harvested before they’re fully ripe will not ripen on the tree.
  • And they shouldn’t be overripe, which means they’re soft, mushy, or discolored.
  • Sweet or sour: There are two primary types of cherry: sweet cherries, which are sweet and tangy when eaten fresh, and sour cherries, which are too tart for most people to eat fresh.
  • For all sweet cherry varietals, the darker the cherry, the sweeter it is. The lighter red and less ripe the sour cherries are, the more tart they will taste.
  • Stem separation: While mature, sweet cherries become hard (the stems normally stay attached when picking a sweet cherry), while sour cherries easily separate from the stem.
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Why leave the stems on sweet cherries? If the stems are left on, the cherries will last longer. Keep them for two to three days in the refrigerator.

Appearance: Look for cherries that are weighty, firm, and have a lustrous skin and a fresh stem.

See more:  Cherries for jam | Best cherries for wine | Cherries for black forest cake | Do cherries and strawberries go together? | Do cherries and blueberries go together?

Final Word:

We hope that this guide will prove useful to you in distinguishing between the various types of cherries, as well as between the cherries that are more suitable for cooking and those that are better off being consumed raw.