We’re always on the search for the sweetest cherry we can find. Among all the beautiful fruit that becomes available when the weather is good, sweet cherries always get a place on our table. If you’re like us and cherries make you smile, you’ll love what the folks from Stemilt Growers have in the way of something unique – Skylar Rae® cherries. When they offered to send us some samples, we couldn’t wait to try them.
Skylar Rae cherries are not your everyday sweet cherry. They’re actually pretty darned special. If it’s true that we first taste food with our eyes, your eyes will be drooling when they get a look at these beauties. Their beautiful golden color skin with an orange-red blush is different from many of the typical red cherries you find. The fruit is firm and the flesh is rather translucent and colorless, again quite different than your average sweet cherry. We absolutely adore firm cherries and every one of these cherries was like a little gem, beautiful, firm, and sweet. In fact, Skylar Rae cherries are among the sweetest cherries we’ve ever tried. They’re also crisp, making them delicious to eat fresh as well as to use in any of your favorite tasty creations that call for sweet cherries.
Where Skylar Rae Cherries Did They Come From?
The quick answer Washington State. Dry, warm days and cool nights make eastern Washington the perfect climate for growing the sweetest cherries. The more touching answer is that the Toftness family had been farming cherries in Wenatchee, Washington for more than a decade when they suffered the horrible loss of their infant daughter, Skylar Rae. As they began their healing process they discovered an unusual cherry that had naturally popped up in their orchard. Growing between the bright red Sweetheart and yellow-blush Ranier cherries, this cherry was different. It had unique genetics and they never tasted anything like it before.
Typically, cherries found in nature are quite difficult to cultivate for commercial production. But this was not a typical cherry. Because it was so special, the family felt it was a gift from nature meant to honor their beautiful daughter. They named the colorful, unique, and deliciously sweet fruit after their daughter, and Skylar Rae cherries were born.
Skylar Rae cherries are only available for a short window of time, from early June to early July. Stemilt Growers has the exclusive right to grow and market Skylar Rae cherries in North America.
The sweetest cherry also makes a fantastic ingredient in creative recipes. We love to play with delicious ingredients so we couldn’t resist the opportunity to incorporate Skylar Rae cherries into some tasty, easy treats perfect for the warm weather. It’s easy to highlight the delicious freshness of these beautiful cherries in ways that complement them rather than hide them.
Our first recipe is for a delicious non-alcoholic cherry limeade you can enjoy during the warm summer days, or anytime you’d like a little refreshment. We can also see how an ounce or two of your favorite booze, whether vodka, rum, gin or something else, could make this a great beverage to chill out with at the end of a long day. You’ll notice that because the flesh of these cherries is essentially colorless you will not get a bright cherry color, but you will taste the delicate sweet cherries in this refreshing summer drink.
Easy Cherry Recipes
Cherry Limeade Cooler
3 cups of water
1 cup organic sugar
1 cup Stemilt Skylar Rae® cherries, halved and pitted
1/2 cup limeade (made fresh or from frozen concentrate), chilled
1 liter of club soda or seltzer
Stemilt Skylar Rae cherries to garnish
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan then add the halved and pitted cherries. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the stove and cool to room temperature. Strain the syrup into a resealable container. Set cherries aside. Refrigerate the syrup until cold.
Fill a tall 14-16-ounce glass with ice. Pour 2 Tablespoons of limeade and 1/3 cup cherry syrup over ice and top with club soda. Garnish with Skylar Rae cherries. Feel free to add your favorite spirit for an adult cocktail. Vodka is a perfect pairing.
The syrup can be stored up to a week in the refrigerator.
SPECIAL NOTE: Save the cherries you’ve used to make the syrup. You can use them in the next recipe!
Skylar Rae® Cherry Breakfast Granola
We’re trying to be more conscientious about food waste. Because something like 40% of food in America is wasted, we’re always looking for better ways to use everything in our kitchen. Here’s a simple recipe that cleverly helps us solve this problem. It also makes a fantastic addition to your morning breakfast favorites. Using the cherries we set aside from the Cherry Limeade Cooler above we started thinking about what to do with the sweet cherries that were left over from the syrup-making process. Because we’re also shifting to a Mediterranean style of eating, we’ve come to love plain Greek yogurt instead of the sugary fruit-at-the-bottom type. We’re always looking for fresh new ways to give it some texture and crunch. When we came up with this simple granola recipe we really love the way it perks up our regular morning yogurt. And it’s super easy too!
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup of granola
1/8 cup left over Skylar Rae® cherries from syrup-making
1 teaspoon of cocoa nibs
Add yogurt to a small bowl, top with granola, cherries and cocoa nibs.
Skylar Rae® cherries are available in two quantity options: a 1.25-pound bag and a 1-pound clamshell carton. Check for Skylar Rae cherries on the Stemilt site locator or ask your local supermarket or produce store for availability.
To read more about the Skylar Rae® cherry check out their website at stemilt.com. If you’re looking for more ways to use your fresh fruit, check out our super easy recipe for an authentic Greek orange cake known as Portokalopita. It’s delicious too!
THE QUICK BITE: Skylar Rae® cherries from Stemilt Growers are the sweetest cherries you’ll ever eat. Grown in Washington State these firm and super sweet cherries are a perfect summer treat.
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