Friday
Jun102016

Orondo Ruby Cherries are Ripe for the Harvest!


Just when you thought it'd never arrive, Orondo Ruby Cherry season is here at last! For the next few weeks, everyone here at the Griggs family orchards will be busy picking, preparing, and packaging your favorite cherries.

The Griggs did not make the distinct new fruit--they found it. One would assume the Orondo Ruby is a hybrid between a Bing and a Rainier cherry, but it isn't. The Orondo Ruby is in a class alone, with the sweetness and tart that brings a smile to everyone who tries them.

When you buy Orondo Ruby cherries, you are getting the best produce exclusive grower orchards have to offer. Sweet and tart, our cherries represent a flavor profile all their own, as unique as the area from which they are picked.

Cherry season is a very special time. Orondo Ruby cherries tell us that summer has arrived, if only for a few weeks. Sometimes, in the thick of a bountiful cherry season like this one, you just can't eat all of them...

...But you can keep the cherry season going all year long by preserving them in a variety of ways.  

If you want to keep your cherries fresh and refreshing, we'd suggest freezing the fruit. The best thing about freezing cherries is that it doesn't take the time that canning does, and it also keeps the nutritional value (and flavor) of the fruit intact.

The steps to freezing your cherries are pretty simple:

 

  1. Clean your cherries. You can use a fruit or vegetable spray cleaner, but a cold water rinse works just as well. Just make sure that any dirt or dust particles have been washed away. Gently pat them dry with a clean paper towel afterwards.
  2. Stem and pit your cherries. You want to keep your cherries as fresh as possible, so don't take the stems off until you're ready to process your fruit. If you want to, you can keep the pits in your cherries, but know you'll have to pit your cherries before using them in the future. If you pit your cherries in the freezing process, you can have the instant satisfaction of popping a frozen delight into your mouth. There are a few ways that you can pit cherries, but the easiest way is to slice the cherries in half and pull the pit out of the middle. If you've ever pitted an avocado, this is similar.
  3. The preliminary freeze. Prefreezing your cherries allows you to grab a few cherries at any time for a quick snack without having to chip away at a clump of cherries or to take the time to thaw your entire batch out. Once you have all of you cherries pitted, lay your cherry halves out on a cookie sheet with wax paper. Make sure they have a little space between so your cherries don't freeze together. Once you have your cherry halves (or whole cherries, if you want) on your cookie sheet, pop them into the freezer. Since not all freezers are alike, you can freeze them completely in 4-6 hours. Or, you can keep them in the freezer overnight just to be sure (but don't keep your cherries in the freezer uncovered too long or they might get freezer burn).
  4. Bag your cherries. Once you pull your frozen cherries out of the freezer, quickly place them into a ziplock bag and put them back into the freezer. If you let them get too warm, you could end up with a big hunk of cherries.

 

And that's it! Your delicious delights should last up to 6 months--making a perfect opportunity to use those last cherries in a holiday dessert!

Wednesday
Jul082015

Thanks for your support this 2015 season!

With this year's extreme heat, it has been one of the most challenging harvest seasons to date for the Orondo Ruby cherry. Despite this, we want to thank our loyal customers for their continued support and feedback. We value our connection with you and are committed to producing our family's special cherry with the utmost quality and care.

With each passing year, our young Orondo Ruby trees continue to mature and grow more beautiful cherries. As our production increases each season, we look forward to continuing to ship the Orondo Ruby to your area and to many more locations around the world.

As our 2015 cherry season comes to an end, we'd like to also thank Chelan Fruit and Chelan Fresh for packing and selling the Orondo Ruby and our retail partners for making the Orondo Ruby available in their stores.

Thank you and we'll see you again next year! 

Thursday
Jul022015

Wildfire in Wenatchee

 

As many of you are aware, a devastating wildfire recently rolled through Wenatchee. The fire in it's fury, destroyed 30 homes and several businesses in the process. The fire's path bordered one of our smaller Orondo Ruby orchards, but only did minor damage.

Our thoughts are with the families who lost their homes and we're thankful that nobody got hurt. We are also very appreciative of all the emergency personnel who worked in response to protect the great community of Wenatchee. 

Friday
Jun262015

Chow Down on a Cherry Pizza at Fire

8 Reasons to Visit Wenatchee, WA by BC Living, July 2015

"If you've never had a pizza topped with cherries (and we bet you haven't!), you've been missing out."

Check out BC Living's article about 8 reasons to visit Wenatchee, WA. Pizza topped with cherries is just the beginning...

Read the full article

 

Wednesday
Jun242015

Recipe: Orondo Ruby Sabayon

Recipe by Chef Heather Ostenson and the Balsamroot Bakery & Café. Opening in mid-July in Wenatchee. 

Orondo Ruby Sabayon 
4-6 servings

Sabayon
Adapted from Professional Baking, 6th Edition, Wayne Gisslen

Sabayon is an egg foam sauce. This preparation is made without wine or liquor, and is lightened with whipped cream.

Ingredients

  •  4 egg yolks, room temperature (65-70ºF)
  • 3.5 oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz heavy whipping cream, chilled

 Equipment

  • Stand mixer with whip attachment (preferred) and steel or heat resistant bowl, or hand mixer with stainless steel bowl
  • Small sauce pan
  • Digital instant read thermometer
  • Wide, shallow mixing bowl
  • Rubber spatula

 Preparation - Whipped Cream

  1.  Chill a bowl and whip or mixer beaters in the refrigerator or freezer until cold. Keep the whipping cream in the refrigerator until it is needed.
  2. Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl. Whip the cream to medium-stiff peaks. If you will be using the same bowl and whip for the next steps, gently transfer the whipped cream to another bowl, cover, and chill until needed. Wash, rinse, and dry mixing bowl and whip. 

Preparation - Egg Foam (Pâte à Bombe-style preparation)  

  1. Pour the simple syrup in the center of the sauce pan, and place over medium-high heat. Do not stir or shake the syrup. Heat the syrup to 248ºF. While the syrup is warming, begin whipping the egg yolks.
  2. Place the egg yolks in the mixing bowl. Aerate the yolks on low speed for 30 seconds to one minute, then increase to medium speed. Whip the eggs until they are a light lemon yellow color while syrup is coming to temperature.
  3. Slowly pour the heated simple syrup down the inside edge of the mixing bowl into the lightened egg yolks while whipping at medium speed. Pour very carefully to avoid catching the syrup in the whip or mixer beaters. Once the syrup has been added, increase the speed to medium high. Continue whipping until the mixture is light in color, has increased in volume, and is at or slightly above room temperature.
  4. Gently transfer the egg foam to the wide, shallow mixing bowl. Take the whipped cream from the refrigerator. Fold the whipped cream into the egg foam, one-third at a time, folding more whipped cream in before the mixture is uniform in color.
  5. Refrigerate completed sabayon, covered, until ready for assembly.

Note: The egg foam may be prepared using a process similar to that for Swiss meringue, where the egg yolks and syrup are combined together in a bowl over a hot-water bath (double boiler) over medium-low heat until mixture is pale and light in color. Mix until the mixture reaches 140ºF, and hold there for three minutes. Remove the mixture from heat and whip until cool and volume has increased. Take care to whip the mixture continuously while over the hot-water bath to avoid over-coagulation of the egg yolks.

Orondo Ruby Coulis (koo-LEE)
Adapted from Professional Baking, 6th Edition, Wayne Gisslen

A coulis is a sweetened purée of fresh or cooked fruit.

Ingredients 

  • 7 oz Orondo Ruby cherries, rinsed, de-stemmed, and pitted
  • 2.5 oz simple syrup
  • 3 tsp lemon juice 

Equipment 

  • Blender
  • Small sauce pan
  • Fine sieve/strainer or chinois
  • Small bowl or container
  • Rubber spatula

Preparation 

  1. Heat the simple syrup in a sauce pan over medium-high heat to 220ºF. While the syrup is heating, prepare the cherries.
  2. Purée the cherries in the blender until very smooth. Pour the purée into a sauce pan and warm over low heat.
  3. Mix the heated syrup into the warming purée. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Strain the mixture through the sieve/strainer or chinois into a new bowl or container.
  4. Stir in lemon juice. Cool and refrigerate until needed. 

Orondo Ruby Flambé
Adapted from Food Network

Ingredients 

  • 6 oz Orondo Ruby cherries, rinsed, de-stemmed, and pitted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 wide strips of lemon zest (use a vegetable peeler)
  • juice of half of a lemon
  • 1/3 cup Grand Marnier or other orange liquor 

Equipment 

  • Skillet
  • Heat resistant spatula or wooden spoon

Preparation 

  1. Place the cherries, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar in a skillet. Stir to combine, and place over medium heat. Cook for until sugar dissolves, and mixture becomes juicy, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Flambé
    NOTE: before attempting the flambé, clear other items such as towels, potholders, from the sides and above the work area.
    A: GAS HEAT - Remove the skillet from heat. Add the liquor. Carefully ignite the liquor by holding a match with tongs, or using a long, fireplace or campfire style match. Gently swirl the pan until the flames die out.
    B: ELECTRIC HEAT - Add the liquor to the skillet with the cherries. Carefully ignite the liquor by holding a match with tongs, or using a long, fireplace or campfire style match. Gently swirl the pan until the flames die out.
  3. Set the cherries flambé aside for assembly.

ASSEMBLY

Components

 Sabayon

  • Orondo Ruby coulis
  • Orondo Ruby cherries, flambé
  • grated or thin ribbon orange zest, to taste
  • fresh Orondo Ruby cherries, rinsed, stem on

 Equipment

4 - 6 small dessert bowls or footed dishes

Assembly

  1. Place a tablespoon of coulis in the bottom of each of the dishes.
  2. Fill the dishes 2/3 full of sabayon.
  3. Place several flambéed cherries in each dish. Drizzle some of the syrup over the sabayon. 
  4. Sprinkle/arrange orange zest on top of sabayon. 
  5. Place a fresh cherry in each dish.