My Favorite Sour Cherry Recipes For a Sweet Summer

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Sour cherry season is upon us.

This fleeting window when sour cherries are ripe for the picking—typically from late June through early July here in New Jersey—is truly my favorite fruit season.

And it’s for this reason that I have so many sour cherry recipes at the ready, because when it comes to experimenting with these beauties, I just can’t help myself.

collage of sour cherry recipes

If you’ve ever tasted a sour cherry, you know the name is accurate. Unlike their sweet siblings, these tart and translucent fruits aren’t meant for eating fresh off the tree.

You’ll enjoy them most in baked goods like pies and pastries, or in other recipes that combine them with a little bit of sweetener to balance out their intense flavor.

If you’re lucky to live near a pick-your-own orchard, make room in your freezer and pick as many sour cherries as you can handle.

Pitted and stored in airtight bags, they’ll keep for months.

sour cherries at Battleview Orchards in New Jersey
Photo: Casey Barber

You’ll also find sour cherries at local farmers markets throughout the country, though if you don’t live in the upper swath of the United States, they might be a little pricier.

Most sour cherries are grown in Michigan, Utah, New York, and Washington state, but you’ll see them at smaller farms in any region with colder winters and temperate-ish summers. (Ugh, climate change.)

When I finally get the backyard of my dreams, I hope to plant a sour cherry tree and have my own personal harvest every year.

goat cheese sour cherry ice cream
Photo: Casey Barber

But until then, I’ll content myself with picking up to 10 pounds of cherries every summer at my local New Jersey orchard.

And I’ll keep cranking out the sour cherry recipes until I can no longer hold a pitter in my shriveled hands.

Take a look below at some of my favorite ways to cook with sour cherries, and stay tuned each year for more delicious experiments!

My Favorite Sour Cherry Recipes

Make the most of the summer with sour cherry recipes that celebrate the fruit's brief season. Or save a few bags of cherries in your freezer to enjoy these treats year-round!

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