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July is prime time for Cherries

July 06, 1999

Cherry treatsmaterials courtesy of Cherry Marketing Institute, Northwest Cherry Growers

Because they're versatile, flavorful and nutritious, cherries make a great snack for warm- weather activities or an irresistible centerpiece at pool parties and backyard barbecues.

There are two kinds of cherries -sweet and tart. Each has its own distinctive uses, but both offer the same wholesome goodness. They have no fat and are low in calories. That makes cherries fit right in with American's increased focus on health. Cherries also are high in potassium and are loaded with antioxidants and other cancer-fighting compounds.

[cont. from lifestyle]

Cherries are one of the few fruits that are truly seasonal. The U.S. crop of fresh, sweet cherries is only available in the summer months. Sweet cherries in the Northwest begin ripening in mid-June. The prime time for fresh sweet cherries is July, but late-season varieties extend the joy of cherries into mid-August. Canned and frozen sweet cherries are available all year. Tart cherries also ripen in July, but they are seldom sold fresh because they are highly perishable. They are canned or frozen within 24 hours of harvest for use throughout the year.


Cherry Spumoni

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum flavoring
  • 21-ounce can cherry pie filling
  • 1 cup pitted fresh sweet cherries
  • 1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted*

Combine heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk and rum flavoring in a large bowl; mix well. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Lightly grease inside of a 9-by-5-by-3-inch baking pan. Cut a piece of plastic wrap 24 inches long. Line bottom and sides of pan with plastic wrap so that several inches of wrap overhang each long side.

Remove cream mixture from refrigerator. Beat with electric mixer on high speed 3 to 4 minutes or until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat. Fold in cherry pie filling, fresh sweet cherries, chocolate chips and almonds. Spoon mixture evenly into lined pan. Cover and freeze at least 5 hours or overnight.

To serve, quickly dip pan in hot water, immersing just the bottom and halfway up sides to help release ice cream. Using overhanging plastic wrap for handles, gently remove spumoni from pan and transfer to serving plate. Remove plastic wrap by lifting spumoni with metal spatula. Cut crosswise into slices and serve immediately. Serves 8.

* Toast almonds in a large skillet over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally or until light brown. Set aside to cool.


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