Cherry appeared in the gardens of Kievan Rus from lands now belonging to Macedonia. Already in the 15th century, it was grown almost everywhere. The harmonious combination of acids and aromatic substances makes the taste of cherries refreshing and stimulating the appetite.
Cherry - the berry is not only very tasty, but also healthy. In addition to the high concentration of vitamins (C, A, PP), antioxidants and natural antibiotics - phytoncides are present in the berries. Cherries are rich in mineral salts, the concentration of which is perfectly balanced and perfectly absorbed by our body. The fruit of the cherry tree and various trace elements are saturated, especially necessary for children and adolescents.
Unfortunately, the season of fresh cherries is very short, and I want to preserve this storehouse of nutrients until next year. Make it possible if you know how to properly store this wonderful berry.
How to choose the right cherry
The pledge of long-term storage of cherries - careful selection of berries. During the collection or purchase should be guided by the following criteria.
- Select for storage slightly immature, elastic and shiny berries without crumpled barrels.
- Darker-colored berries are much sweeter and more beneficial than their lighter “girlfriends.”
- Before you buy, be sure to try the berries and smell them. Their sweet and sour taste and aroma should not contain notes characteristic of the fermentation process.
- Too sticky or soft berries spent a lot of time in the sun and are no longer suitable for long-term storage.
- When buying, it is better to choose a cherry with green cuttings. If the cuttings are dark or nonexistent, then this crop, as they say, “second freshness”.
- It is very important to determine whether the berries are worm-eaten before storing. For this you need to break one of the most ripe berry and see what it is inside. If you find a worm there, then the whole party will most likely be wormy. In addition, wormy berries are always softer and darker than others.
Cherry storage methods
There are several ways to store a cherry depending on when and how you plan to use it:
- storing fresh berries in a cool place;
- freezing the cherry crop and storing it in the freezer;
- storage of berries in dried form;
- storage of cherries in a processed form.
Consider each of the methods in more detail.
In the fridge properly selected ripe berries can be stored up to 10 days, and slightly unripe - even up to 14 days. Mandatory storage conditions - do not wash the cherry and do not close the container with the fruit. Optimum conditions at the place of storage - humidity up to 85%, air temperature from 0 to + 10 ° C. The lower the temperature and humidity, the longer the berries do not spoil.
If you do not have the opportunity to put the berries in the refrigerator, they can be stored in a cool place, for example in the cellar, if you put them in a dry glass jar lined from the inside with clean cherry leaves. It is also better to shift the layers of cherries with foliage, and tightly close the jar with a plastic cap.
For long storage, cherries are very convenient to freeze in order to preserve vitamins for the winter-spring period. Modern technologies allow producers to freeze berries very quickly and in large volumes, while maintaining the maximum nutritional value of the product, but home refrigerators with the function of fast freezing also cope well with this task.
- To properly freeze the berries should be bruised, washed and dried thoroughly.
- Then you should decide in what form you want to freeze the cherries - with or without stones. If you plan to later prepare the filling for pies or dumplings, then remove the bones from the berries.
- Spread the prepared fruits in a single layer on a flat plate or tray so that they do not touch and freeze. With this treatment, the berries do not stick together in a single monolith.
- Arrange the frozen cherries in special containers or packages and store in the freezer. It is convenient to use frozen berries in small individual portions and then defrosting only the required amount.
- Thus, it is possible to store cherries for a year, that is, practically until the next harvest.
In order to properly prepare dried cherries, it must first be bruised, rinsed well and free of stones.
- Prepared berries can be dried in the oven. To do this, the cherry is laid out in one layer on a baking sheet and dried at a temperature of from 40 to 55 ° C. If the oven has a convection function, use it when drying.
- To remove evaporating moisture, keep the oven door slightly open.
- Avoid overheating above 55 ° C, as at higher temperatures, vitamin C is destroyed and the cherry will lose some of its beneficial properties.
- Happy owners of electric driers can use them to dry berries, while observing the requirements of the enclosed instructions.
- Dried cherries should be placed in a tightly-sealed wooden or cardboard box before storage can be placed in order to even out the moisture of the fruit.
- It is possible to store dried cherries for up to a year in tightly closed glass containers or linen bags.
- For storage, choose a cool dry place, protected from sunlight.
Perfectly stored cherry, subjected to heat treatment. This wonderful berry produces incredibly tasty jams and confitures, jams and compotes. It is remarkable to continue until the next season, the cherry in its own juice. If the blanks correspond exactly to the recipe and are thoroughly sterilized, you will be able to delight your home with delicious cherry desserts all winter.