Freezing Tart Cherries and Cherry Limeade Recipe

This morning was our first pick-up day for tart cherries.  So first thing this morning I hauled in my thirty pound container and got my cherries ready to freeze.

Tart Cherries
Tart cherries from Michigan. So much delicious potential…

I always try to freeze my fruit and vegetables in the portions I need for what I plan to use my fruit.  Most of the fruit I freeze is intended for jam or smoothies, but you can also freeze for pies, cobblers, or other baked goods.

If you are freezing cherries for pie, you’ll want to use a slotted spoon to let them drain some before measuring and freezing your cherries.

Tart cherries
Draining cherries can reduce the time needed to thaw your cherries.

Four cups is a good amount for a standard nine-inch pie and will fit nicely in a quart freezer bag. You may want to use six cups if you plan to make deeper nine-inch pies or to make ten inch pies.

Freezing Tart Cherries
Freezing Cherries

It’s pretty simple- drain, bag, seal, freeze.  When you want to use your cherries, you can just grab a bag (or two…or three…) and thaw in the refrigerator in advance or at room temperature for a few hours.

My 30 pound container of cherries left me with more than four cups of juice (I was freezing for jam so I wasn’t as concerned about draining my cherries well, so if you’re freezing for pies, you may end up with more).  I loooove tart flavors (we’re talking about routinely eating lemons – just lemons, no sugar – as an after school snack when I was younger) so I couldn’t let this go to waste!  I made some Cherry Limeade this afternoon and plan to use more of my liquid treasure for cherry coconut popsicles later.  In talking to our customers, we’ve also learned you can also make jello from the juice.

Cherry Limeade

Makes two cups Cherry Limeade


1/2 cup tart cherry juice
1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) lemon-lime soda
Juice from 1/2 lime (or to taste)
Lime slices for garnish (optional)


Mix all ingredients together. Adjust to suit tastes (add more soda if you want a less tart drink, more cherry juice and/or lime if you want a more tart drink).

Serve over ice, garnished with lime slices (if you really want to get creative, freeze some solo cherries to use as ice!)


Cherry Limeade
Cherry Limeade

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