The first successful cherry orchards in Door County were planted by Professor E.F Goff and A.L Hatch in 1862. The pair planted three acres of Montmorency tart cherries that grew to be a wildly successful crop. Montmorency Cherries, also known as “the Door County Cherry,” have thrived on the peninsula ever since. Today, Seaquist Orchards is the largest Montmorency Cherry grower in Door County.
Named after a valley in the northern suburbs of Paris where it was first cultivated in the 1700’s, the Montmorency Cherry is a medium sized tart cherry with a deep, red skin and clear yellow flesh. Unlike sweet cherries, which are best enjoyed fresh off the tree, tart cherries are usually served baked, dried, frozen, or juiced. Montmorency cherries aren’t merely tasty, they’re also full of vitamin C, A, and antioxidants. Recent studies have shown that tart cherries are effective in fighting inflammation and supporting the body’s immune system. They also help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
In Door County, a traditional cherry pie recipe will always call for Montmorency Cherries. Bonus points if they come fresh from a local orchard! Although a classic cherry pie is a winner at any table, cherries can be used in a variety of recipes. Check out the recipes below for new ideas on how to utilize cherries in the kitchen.
Cherry Almond Scones
3/4 cup dried cherries
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk or half and half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped almonds
Cherry Butter Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup cherry preserves
Place dried cherries into boiling water and set aside. In a large bowl, mix egg, half and half, vanilla extract and almond extract. In a food processor, blend flour, sugar, baking powder and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Drain cherries and stir into egg mixture along with crumb mixture and almonds until blended.
Place heaping tablespoons of the finished mixture onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400° F for 12–15 minutes or until golden. Serve warm with cherry jam or cherry butter.
To make cherry butter, stir preserves and butter together in a medium bowl until blended.
Cherry Granola Cookies
2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup eggs, beaten
1/2 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups oats
2 cups coconut
1-1/2 cups dried cherries
3/4 cups sliced almonds
Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar until there are no butter chunks left. Set aside. Mix eggs and vanilla until combined. Set aside. Mix flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda until combined. Set aside. Mix oats, coconut, dried cherries and almonds until combined. Set aside.
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Portion out mixed batter onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350° F. Smaller cookies take 10–12 minutes to bake. Larger cookies take 15–16 minutes to bake. Let cool.
Cherry Recovery Smoothie
8oz. rapid whey
1 cup mixed berries
1 cup spinach
1 cup mango
1 tablespoon flax seed
Combine ingredients in a blender to the smoothness of your liking. Add ice or frozen berries if desired.
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