Succulent, juicy, and sweet, blood-red cherries are one of nature’s heavenly gifts to mankind. From May to August sweet cherries like Bing and Rainier are ready to be picked and enjoyed.
But did you know that we have been eating cherries since the Stone Age? We have been enjoying those glistening, tiny jewels for ages. Cherry pits were found during excavations of Stone Age caves in Europe’s lakeside settlements in what is now known as Switzerland.
- There are more than 1000 types of cherries. More than 500 varieties are sweet cherries and the rest are tart or sour cherries. Only about 20% of that number are propagated and harvested for commercial use.
- 94% of sweet cherries are from California, Oregon and Washington. Washington makes up 62% of the United State’s sweet Cherry production. Meanwhile, more than half of tart cherry production is from Michigan.
- A single cherry tree can produce about 7000 fruits.
- Cherry trees normally have an average lifespan of 20 years. Miraculously, some cherry trees stand for hundreds of years, and 3 remarkable trees in Japan have lived for a thousand years.
How to make Vanilla Frozen Yogurt with Fresh Cherry Swirl
Prep Time: 30 mins
Ready In: 5 hrs
Yields: 8 servings
- 1 1/4 cups fresh Bing cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped (about 8 oz.)
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Bring cherries and brown sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium. Cook 2 minutes or until cherries begin to soften. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook 13 minutes or until syrupy. Stir in lemon juice. Remove pan from heat; cool. Place cherry mixture in an airtight container; refrigerate 1 hour or until chilled.
- Place a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan in freezer. Freeze at least 30 minutes. Combine yogurt, half-and-half, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla bean paste in a bowl. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Chill yogurt mixture 1 hour.
- Pour yogurt mixture into the freezer can of an ice cream freezer. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spread half of frozen yogurt in bottom of loaf pan. Dollop half of cherry mixture over top. Swirl into frozen yogurt with the tip of a knife. Repeat procedure with remaining half of frozen yogurt and remaining half of cherry mixture. Gently press a piece of parchment paper directly on top of frozen yogurt. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Freeze 4 hours or until firm.