chokecherries

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A note from our CSA newsletter, July 12, 2011:

“We’re including a surprise quart of chokecherries in the share this week. Earlier this spring, the chokecherry trees around the farm were dressed in beautiful flowers and alive with honey bees. And now they are thick with gorgeous, lip-puckering, black fruits. Harvest of these has been a race with the birds. We may be tied at this point. Get ready for happy, healthy dose of locally grown and gleaned antioxidants, vitamin C, and manganese! We can assure you these are worth the picking. Jeremy made chokecherry sorbet yesterday. There’s possibly nothing better than chokecherry sorbet. Ever. Here’s the recipe.

Chokecherry Sorbet

  • 4 c chokecherries
  • 2 c water
  • 1 c orange juice
  • 1/2 – 1 c sugar

In a sauce pan over low heat, stir together water and chokecherries. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain out and remove chokecherry seeds (a sieve or colander, and the back side of a spoon works well for this). Add sugar and orange juice to hot chokecherry juice. Mix to dissolve sugar. Freeze. (At this point, if you have an ice cream maker, use it). Freeze for 1.5 hours, then pull it out and whisk it up, to add air and then stick it back in the freezer. Pull it out quick and stir it up about once every hour for about 4 hours. The more times you stir, the more air is incorporated and the lighter the sorbet. This makes about a quart of delicious sorbet.

Some other ideas for preparing your chokecherries: boil down with sugar (agave or honey) into a simple syrup or a vinegar for adding to ice water, lemonade or ice tea (chokecherry gin and tonic!). Jam it to enjoy with pancakes, toast, ice cream. Let us know what you come up with – hope you enjoy them.”

Chokecherry Shrub Shrubs are a beverage that go back to colonial times as a way of saving the summer season to enjoy throughout the year. Shrub refers to a sweet and sour syrup that’s consumed as a sipping vinegar or diluted with club soda, or mixed with a cocktail. These beverages involve fruit and herbs or spices that steep in vinegar and are later sweetened with honey or sugar. Feel free to experiment with the amount of sugar and the variety of fruits/herbs you use.

  • 1.5 c chokecherries, cooked down and sieved
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (or try rosemary sprigs, orange peel, ginger, etc..)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar (I’d recommend using Bragg’s)
  • 1/2 cup or 2/3 sugar

Cook chokecherries in a small saucepan with a small amt of water (1/4 cup). Sieve seeds from pulp using a colander and the back of a wooden spoon. Combine chokecherry pulp, cinnamon sticks, vinegar and sugar in a quart sized mason jar or other comparable container. Give it a good shake and stick it in the fridge. After a week or two, strain the mixture. Give it a taste and add sugar if you’d like. Keep in mind it should be pretty tangy. Enjoy about 2 oz of shrub diluted with 6-8 oz of club soda or sparkling water according to your own tastes.

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