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Upcoming Cherry Crop Best in 20 Years

Tart Cherry JuiceGet ready for an explosion of great tasting cherries within the next couple of weeks. That's right, the 2013 cherry crop is turning out to be one of the best crops in nearly a decade. The cherry trees are full of little yellow/reddish orbs and will be ready for harvesting around the second week of July. This means, we'll have a fresh sweet cherries and tart cherries available in both our Bellaire and Elk Rapids stores. In addition, we'll be able to ship fresh cherries anywhere in the United States.   Also, if you are visiting Northern Michigan within the next few weeks, there are also a number of U-pick cherry farms to pick your own cherries right off the tree. This is a great way to enjoy a stress-free day in Northern Michigan. We have a complete listing U-pick farms we can email to you, too.   Also, I wanted to share an email we received from a long-time customer, Erma K. from Springfield, IL, "Every year my family has a reunion the last weekend of July and every year I make five fresh cherries pies with your cherries. My grandkids love them and these simple cherry pies have created so many memories for me and my family. Please let me know when the new cherries will be ready".   We'll updated our website when the cherries are ready for shipment and also check our Facebook page and your email, too. Here are two cherry recipes that will taste great with the new cherries from the upcoming crop. First is a recipe that used fresh cherries, while the second uses dried cherries: Cherry Pie Recipe:
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans unsweetened tart cherries or 4 cups frozen  unsweetened tart cherries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pastry for 2-crust, 9-inch pie
  • 2 tablespoons butter or  margarine
If using canned cherries, drain them well. Discard the juice or save for another use. If using frozen cherries, it is not necessary to thaw them. Combine well drained canned cherries or frozen cherries, granulated sugar, tapioca and almond extract in a large mixing bowl; mix well. Let stand 15 minutes. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry; fill with cherry mixture. Dot with butter. Adjust top crust, cutting slits for steam to escape, or cut top crust into strips and make a lattice-top pie. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven 50 to 55 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Makes 8 servings. Cherry Juice Chewbilees Beyond ordinary, try these cookies made with extraordinary dried cherries!
  • 1 cup margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tablespoon cherry juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 package (10 ounces) vanilla-flavored morsels or 1 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups dried tart cherries
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cashews
Put margarine, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed 3 to 4 minutes, or until well mixed. Combine flour and baking soda. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; mix well. Stir in vanilla-flavored morsels, dried cherries and cashews. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 10 to 12 minutes, or until light golden brown. Do not overbake. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Store in a tightly covered container. These cookies freeze well. Makes 4 to 5 dozen.
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