Friday, July 9, 2010

Sip Your Black Cherries this Summer

As the days get hotter, I crave new fun ways to stay cool. Since I love to drink iced tea, I am always looking for ways to mix it up. Since I have a bunch of cherries at my fingertips how about a little black cherry iced tea?
My MIL planted this idea in my head. She was searching for a recipe she saw and then couldn't find again. This is not the one she had in mind, but I thought it sounded pretty yummy! When we try the other recipe, I will post that one, too. Hmmm... cherry iced tea showdown, anyone?

What you need:
1 lb. black cherries pitted
2 quarts of water
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
3 star anise
1/2 vanilla bean - split & scraped
10 green tea bags
fresh mint sprigs for garnish

Pit your cherries. I always wear an apron when I do this. It doesn't really matter which pitter I use, I always get sprayed a little. Put your pitted cherries in a heavy bottomed saucepan with your water, sugar, lemon juice, star anise & vanilla bean. Simmer the mixture for 15 minutes to soften the cherries. Use the back of a spoon to smash the cherries against the side of the pan to release all their juice.

Then turn off the heat, cover and let them sit for an hour. Put the mixture through a sieve and return it to a saucepan. Bring it back up to a boil and add your tea bags. Steep them for 5 minutes and then let your tea cool.

Garnish with the fresh mint sprigs and enjoy over ice. If you don't have fresh cherries you can use frozen, but I would suggest adding more sugar. I cut down the amount I used because my fruit was so sweet on its own. Enjoy!
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