Monday, August 29, 2011

Brandied Door County Tart Cherries

It all started a few weeks ago: Melissa was chatting with Rebecca at Cakewalk about Door County tart cherries one July afternoon. After much talk, they decided to split a large bucket of cherries.

But when an offer came in through fellow food bloggers Lori and Paul (from Burp: Where Food Happens) to purchase 27 pounds of tart cherries from Cherryland's Best, the urge to have a full bucket to ourselves was too much to pass up.

Even if neither of us had never had a tart cherry before.

And that's the story of how we ended up with 27 pounds of Door County cherries!

Now when you buy that much of something, you have to come up with a lot of ways to use them. So welcome to Cherry Week on our blog (it's much less dangerous and much more delicious than Shark Week).

Day one: Brandied Door County Tart Cherries.

In Melissa's search for inspiration on how to use the cherries, she turned again to our friends at Burp, who have been known to make brandied cherries. Since it tied in nicely with our first-year canning binge, now a weekend staple, we thought we would try our hand at making them.

Melissa has dreams of turning the brandied cherries into something extra special around Christmas too, so watch for that in the coming months.

Brandied Door County Sour Cherries

We tasted the unprocessed cherries while we were busy in the kitchen, and we loved them. But the brandied cherries? That warm hint of the brandy and the tartness of the cherry should be inseparable.

(By the way, I wonder what's hiding behind those cherries in the photo above. Hmm ...)

If you've never heard of CherryLand's Best, since 1994 the company has used Montmorency cherries from Door County orchards to create dried fruit treats. The company's facility is located in Appleton.

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