The 10 Best Ways You Can Use Your Cherry Harvest

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: August 28, 2023
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It’s hard to beat the juicy, sweet flavor of a fresh cherry. Plus, these delightful fruits have a plethora of health benefits. We know as tasty as they are, you can’t quite eat every single one from your harvest. Thankfully, there are some creative ways to make use of the cherries before they go bad! 

From canning them for year-round delight to sipping them in a tasty cocktail, there are a plethora of ways to enjoy your cherry harvest! Let’s take a look at some of the most delicious options out there!

1. Pickle Cherries

Fresh organic Acerola cherry.Thai or Acerola cherries fruit on the tree with water drop, high vitamin C and antioxidant fruits.

On average, one cherry tree produces 7,000 cherries!

©Mr.Somchai Sukkasem/

Fruit is properly recognized for its sweetness, but introducing some tang can be quite enjoyable. The notes of other things added to the pickling mixture allow you to customize the taste. Some of the more popular options include smoky vanilla, star anise, and black pepper. 

So that you can continue having an inviting taste of summertime well into the colder months, finish the canning procedure, and preserve your pickled cherries. This delicious delight goes well with salads, charcuterie boards, ice cream sundaes, and whiskey sours.

2. Brandied Cherries

Cups full of Cherries

You can make brandied cherries to be alcoholic or non-alcoholic.

©Lina Robertson/

Brandied cherries are sweet and boozy. They go well with ice cream, an old-fashioned, and the perfect Manhattan. Additionally, you can prepare a big batch to finish off your cherry harvest.

Creating brandied cherries in the comfort of your own kitchen can be done in two ways: either the uncooked, unseasoned version or the cooked, spiced one. Decide whether you’ll be removing the pit. 

After a few cocktails, you might forget about the pit, which could cause a choking hazard. You can also brandy cherries with the pits, which takes a bit less work.

3. Roasting Cherries

Two pottery bowls stacked on top of each other filled with chelan cherries.

Roasting cherries and adding a bit of fresh rosemary on top of a pork chop is an unbeatable meal.

©Carey Jaman/

While grilling meats and root vegetables may be a familiar technique, have you ever considered roasting cherries? If you want to extract the most intense tastes from food, whether they are savory or sweet, roasting food in your oven is a great way to do just that. 

Cherry roasting enables the oven to demolish the cherry’s cell walls, release the juices within, and evaporate the water. The cherries can also be roasted and mixed with seasonings to add a sweet and savory element to other meals. 

Roasted cherries go nicely with grain meals prepared in the Mediterranean cooking technique, over lukewarm balsamic chicken salad, drizzled over roasts, or offered with a cheese plate. 

A tip from A to Z: Use the warm cherry juices over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s truly divine! 

4. Make a Fruit Compote

Bing Cherries ready to be harvested. It won't be long before someone is enjoying them.

A fruit compote is one of the easiest things to do with excessive cherries.

©Jack Shiner/

Cherries create an excellent sauce because they have a good ratio of fruit fiber to water concentration. Fruit that has been simmered until it pops and reduced down into liquid form is the bare minimum of what fruit compotes are. 

This process suddenly takes your cherry harvest and turns it into a completely new food. The fruit that you didn’t want to eat raw can be converted into a tasty sauce that you can eat alongside other foods.

To make a compote, start by removing the pit from the cherries and putting them in a pot big enough for about half of the cherries to reach the bottom. In order to prevent the cherries from scorching before they explode, add a couple of tablespoons of water. 

It takes around 10 minutes for cherries to explode and split apart if you cook them over medium heat. Put in a tablespoon of sugar to enhance the sweetness. We suggest using the compote on top of waffles, cheesecake, or on a scoop of ice cream. 

If you make too much, put it in a jar and give it to a loved one. Cherry compote is good for about two weeks!  

5. Bake a Pie

Delicious Homemade Cherry Pie

Top your cherry pie with cherry pit whipped cream to get an explosion of flavor!

©bhofack2/iStock via Getty Images

Making a cherry pie may be one of the most obvious things to do with your cherry harvest. Cherry pie is a wonderful way to use an excessive amount of cherries. This tasty treat can be made with fresh or frozen cherries. 

We strongly suggest simmering the cherry filling before baking instead of making a pie with raw ingredients and winging it. You can control and modify the fruit filling’s consistency by cooking the filling in advance. 

Since cherries contain a lot of water, as we already know, they create a superb compote but a watery sauce wouldn’t stand together as a pie.

6. Mulled Cherry Wine

White wine pouring into glasses, closeup

Mulled wine originated in the second century!

©Africa Studio/

Cherry wine is one of the most popular drinks throughout autumn. The ease of preparation for mulled wine is part of its appeal. Simply place a cup of pitted, split cherries in a bowl, along with a few pieces of orange zest, a couple of sticks of cinnamon, and wine. 

Place this all into a slow cooker or pot and let simmer. Before you begin to pour the wine into glasses, let it mull for around 20 minutes. The longer it mulls, the stronger the flavors will be. 

7. Create a Cherry Pit Whipped Cream

bowl of whipped cream

The type of cherry you use to make whip cream can slightly alter the flavor.

©Magone/iStock via Getty Images

You’ll have an abundance of pits left over after preparing a couple of pounds of cherries for pie. Keep them around since there is still plenty to get out of this fruit! An attractive topping with subtle cherry flavor and color is created by soaking the pits in milk for an entire night before squeezing them out and whipping the mixture. 

The strength of this dessert will vary based on the fruit’s quality, but even a mild cherry pit whipped cream is a special addition to a cherry tart or chewy brownies. 

8. Make Cherry Ice Cream

Black cherry ice cream in a pink cup

Black cherries are the most common for cherry ice cream.

©LindasPhotography/iStock via Getty Images

When making cherry ice cream, typically begin by coating the cherries with sugar and simmer the fruit whole until they are shriveled and moist. By leaving the pits in when roasting, you can strengthen the cherry flavor as well as the color of the finished ice cream. 

The ice cream has a predominant, untouched cherry flavor, thanks to those processes and the exclusion of milk and eggs. It’s such a great way to enjoy the flavors on a warm summer day. 

9. Cherry Pit Syrup

Cherries with leaves

Cherry syrup is a great homemade gift to give during the holidays.


Similar to the whipped cream mentioned earlier, cherry pits that are typically thrown away are used for creating this delightful syrup. They are sprinkled with sugar, which aids in removing the flavor and moisture from the fruit that is still stuck to the pit of the cherries. 

In time, the remaining moisture around the pits will be sufficient for completely dissolving the sugar, negating the demand for any more liquid. To enhance the flavor and scent of cherries without adding their own particular flavor, a small amount of rose water and almond extract can be added. 

If you prefer a sweeter taste profile, you could use vanilla extract as well. 

10. Spiced Cherry Jam

Cherry jam on wooden ground

You can customize the sweetness of cherry jam by adding more or less sugar.

©aleksey_rezin/iStock via Getty Images

Although cherries make a fantastic sweet jam, a spicy cherry jam recipe can truly be an experience for your tastebuds. It is refreshing to eat this jam on everything from roasts to pancakes to desserts. 

To make the jam, create a boiling water bath. Don’t forget to preheat the oven to 250 degrees. The cherries should be cleaned, de-stemmed, and pitted. Take two pounds of cherries from your harvest and blend them using an immersion blender. 

If you want to reduce any foaming, add a bit of butter to the mix. Place the blended mixture in the pot and stir constantly before adding four and a half cups of sugar! Make sure to put the final jam in a cooling bath with the glass containers to ensure the containers don’t shatter from the heat of the jam. 

Summary of Ways to Use Your Cherry Harvest

  1. Pickle Cherries
  2. Brandied Cherries
  3. Roasting Cherries
  4. Make a Fruit Compote
  5. Bake a Pie
  6. Mulled Cherry Wine
  7. Create a Cherry Pit Whipped Cream
  8. Make Cherry Ice Cream
  9. Cherry Pit Syrup
  10. Spiced Cherry Jam

The photo featured at the top of this post is © RolandsBoss/

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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