Tart Holiday Treats

December 15, 2014 | by Stella Parks

When fresh fruits are scarce in winter months, brighten holiday recipes with Montmorency tart cherries— found in dried, frozen, and juice forms year-round.

Dried cherries add a phenomenal chewiness to Christmas cookies, frozen Montmorency tart cherries are the secret to fruitcakes that defy expectation, and Montmorency tart cherry juice can replace water in many types of candy.

I’d need a cookbook to detail all the possibilities, but my two favorite applications for Montmorency tart cherries are perfect bookends to a wintry day: cheery cherry cinnamon rolls for breakfast and a hot cocoa nightcap topped with fluffy cherry marshmallows. I love the versatility of these recipes, making it easy to incorporate Montmorency tart cherries (loaded with phytonutrients) into my holiday regime.

We usually think of preparing jam with fresh fruit, but a blend of dried and frozen Montmorency tart cherries speed the process along because dried fruit has no water to simmer out and frozen fruit is juicy and tender without cooking. Between the two, it only takes a few seconds to blitz together an easy “jam” in the food processor, no cooking or added sugar required. It’s amazing spooned over hot biscuits or spread between layers of your favorite white cake for a festive winter dessert, but this time I’m using it as the ruby red filling for holiday cinnamon rolls with a simple cherry frosting to top it all off.
Cheery Cherry Cinnamon Rolls: Add a splash of holiday cheer to the breakfast table with these festive cinnamon rolls, filled with a ruby red cherry jam made from dried and frozen Montmorency tart cherries and topped with pink cherry frosting.
In my second recipe, Montmorency tart cherry juice adds a fruity zing to fluffy homemade marshmallows. They’re a natural in wintertime to top steamy mugs of hot cocoa, but can also be an amazing addition to rocky road bars, ice cream, or even sweet potato casserole. However you enjoy these recipes, Montmorency tart cherries will be sure to make the season bright.
Fluffy Cherry Marshmallows: Though traditionally made with water, marshmallows gain an irresistible burst of holiday color and flavor when prepared with Montmorency tart cherry juice. It’s a fruity pink twist that turns every mug of hot cocoa into a chocolate covered cherry.

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