I seem to have developed a serious cherry addiction this year.
Now, this isn’t really a new thing, as I’ve always loved them and literally grew up surrounded by cherries. We lived on the border between Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, California, and some of my fondest memories include trips with my mom to C.J. Olson’s orchards (back before that giant condo development monstrosity killed off all the beautiful trees… *sigh*). There, we would buy as many luscious, dark red cherries as we could fit into the back of her car. We’d polish off about half a pound by the time we got home and proceed to make jams and other lovely desserts. Every year I try to buy at least one large batch of cherries to continue this tradition, but this year I seem to have gone a little overboard! It seems like every time I visit the farmer’s market, I have to buy at least one pound of these sweet, juicy orbs of happiness.
On this weekend’s trip to my favorite under-the-freeway market I got a little nutty and ended up buying some Brooks & Rainiers (couldn’t resist the super low price of $1.75/lb! And they were actually GOOD!), among many other tasty fruits & veggies. I already had a fresh cherry granita in mind, but when I got home I realized I still had several gorgeous strawberries leftover from a super sweet find my mom & I had scored the previous weekend, not to mention one last box of blackberries. Combining all of these to make a sinfully sweet and gorgeous granita seemed like a fabulous idea, and it definitely was. This is a perfect summertime dessert and a nice alternative to the usual jams & preserves that most berries & cherries become during this season. And with a little careful shopping at your local stores and farmer’s markets, this dessert is as refreshing for your wallet as it is for the palate.