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Cornelian Cherry Recipes

Cornelian Cherry Sherbet

According to Fedco’s Aktan Askin, cornelian cherry “grows kind of wild and crazy in certain parts of Turkey. People make a sherbet (not a frozen treat) out of it, which is a cooked and diluted fruit juice drink.” He passed along this simple recipe:

1 pound cornelians
1½ quarts water
½ cup sweetener (or to taste)

Simmer cherries in water for about 30 minutes, until soft. Adding a clove or two while simmering is common. Squeeze through cheese cloth. Chill, and enjoy. Just the color of this drink is very inviting.

Other Ideas

Juice does not flow out of these meaty fruits, even when they have been mangled by hand-squeezing out the pits. And they are very high in pectin.

A perfect jam can be made simply with 6 parts fruit to 1 part sugar. And it is delicious!

Using the same sugar ratio, the fruit puréed and sweetened is great added to yogurt and spooned over cornbread or pancakes.

An apple crisp with about 20% cornelian cherries is spectacular!

Or substitute coarsely chopped cornelians in your favorite cranberry muffin recipe.

The sweetened purée also makes an excellent fruit leather. I use frozen fruit for this, since fall is so busy, and thaw it in winter when the fireplace is going. A 200° oven is perfect for drying the leather without actually cooking the fruit. Sprinkle a little flour on parchment paper and spread the puree on that. The flour helps separate the leather from the paper. This is a fantastic snack. But I like to fold it up and use kitchen shears to cut it into raisin-sized pieces. These pieces folded into your favorite cornbread recipe make a delectable treat. Jack Kertesz says this is a match made in heaven. Personally, I think it is too good to share with the gods.

–Tom Vigue