SOUR CHERRY SHAKE
If you can’t get fresh sour cherries, jarred or canned sour cherries (not pie filling!) make a fine substitute; the jarred morello cherries from Trader Joe’s are our favorites.
2 pounds sour cherries, stemmed and pitted, or 24 ounces canned or jarred cherries, drained
1 quart vanilla ice cream
Place the cherries in a blender or food processor (reserving a few for garnish) and blend into a smooth puree. Add the ice cream and continue to blend until smooth, rich, and pink. Pour into four glasses, garnish with fresh cherries, and serve.
Yield: 4 12-ounce shakes
SWEET PICKLED CHERRIES
Makes about 4 cups
These cherries are wonderful with panna cotta, vanilla ice cream, cheesecake, or foie gras. Dried hibiscus can be found in the bulk section at natural foods stores, at Latin markets, and by mail order.
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 star anise
zest and juice of 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers
1 cinnamon stick
2 pounds fresh sour cherries, stemmed and pitted, or two 24-ounce jars sour cherries, drained
In a medium saucepan, bring water, sugar, balsamic vinegar, star anise, lemon zest, lemon juice, hibiscus, and cinnamon stick to a boil. Boil 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is fragrant and sugar is fully dissolved. Place cherries in a large bowl. Strain the pickling liquid onto the cherries. Refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to a week.