Best Cherry Alternatives for Baking and Cooking

Top view of baking ingredients including a couple of orange slices, two eggs, and a bowl of cherries.

Cherries belong to the same family of stone fruits like plums, nectarines, peaches, and apricots. They’re only available during the summer months and don’t sweeten much once picked. Cherries come in three varieties: sour, sweet, and chokecherries.

Sweet cherries are normally eaten fresh, whereas sour cherries are best used in pies and preserves. Chokecherries are quite sour and are commonly used in jams and syrups. Because cherries have a particular flavor, a substitute must have a sour, yet sweet, note to it.

Cherries are one of the most popular ingredients for a wide number of desserts, including cobblers, cakes, shakes, and cocktails. However, what if you plan to prepare a cherry recipe, only to find out that all the nearby stores have run out of fruit?

Well, there is no need to abandon your cooking plans, as this blog will cover a number of substitutes to cherry that you can use for your baking and cooking adventures.

Loquats as a Substitute

Loquats may sound exotic, but they can be found at most supermarkets. This fruit has a succulent pulp with a sweet to tart flavor, comparable to cherry, and it’s used in pies and preserves in the same way. Loquats should be purchased peeled and seeded or peeled and seeded at home; the peels and seeds are not edible.

In your recipe, use loquats in the same quantity as cherries. All cherry recipes, especially fresh ones, benefit from loquats.

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Frozen Cherries are a Great Option

If fresh cherries are unavailable, dried, frozen, or canned cherries will suffice. Additional sweets or preservatives in canned cherries may affect the flavor of your recipe. As a result, go for frozen first, dried second, and canned as a last resort.

In all recipes, frozen, dried, or canned cherries can be substituted for fresh cherries in equal amounts. Dried cherries can be used as is in most recipes, including baked items, but if you need to rehydrate them, soak them in water overnight in the refrigerator.

Attempt an Extract

Without the need for a genuine cherry, cherry extracts provide a sweet, somewhat tangy cherry flavor. Use a cherry extract made entirely of actual cherries. Imitation extracts aren’t created from real cherries, and they’re loaded with artificial colors and flavors that turn harsh and taste like cherry cough medicine.

Because extracts are stronger than fresh cherries, use a quarter teaspoon for every teaspoon of cherries in the recipe. Extracts can be used in any dish, with the exception of fresh salads and garnishes.

A Smidgeon of Liqueur

Without utilizing fruits, cherry liqueur can be used to create a distinct cherry flavor. Cherry liqueurs are sometimes sold in supermarkets, although they can also be found at liquor stores. Because cherry liqueur contains alcohol, use it only if you’re okay with adding alcohol to your recipe.

If you’re cooking on the stovetop, the alcohol will likely burn off, but baking in the oven may leave residual alcohol in the dish. Liqueurs have a strong flavor and can quickly overpower a dish. Liquors can be used in baked items and cooked dishes, but not in raw dishes.

Start with a 14 teaspoon of liquor per 1 teaspoon of sugar and gradually increase until you obtain the desired flavor.

Open a Preserves Jar

Preserves are a fruit spread with a thick consistency. Preserves, unlike jams and jellies, employ big chunks of fruit and are simmered with sugar. Cherry preserves contain not just cherry flavor, but also cherry fragments.

Preserves can be used in both raw and cooked dishes. Preserves have a stronger cherry flavor, but they also include extra sugar. If you notice a sweeter flavor when using them in recipes, use a ratio of one part preserves to every two parts cherries called for in the recipe, and add more as needed to achieve the desired flavor.

Final Word:

To sum up, this article covered some of the most effective replacements for cherries, as far as cooking and baking go. What makes these replacements so effective is the fact that they can work equally well for cobblers, pies, and pretty much every other dessert that has conventional cherries as an ingredient. We hope that this article will spare you from despair the next time you fail to find cherries for your cherry dessert.

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