Cherries are small stone fruits that grow on trees. Cherries are usually one inch across, heart-shaped, and contain a hard pit in the center. [Cherries](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-grow-cherry-trees) belong to the genus *Prunus*, which includes other stone fruits such as plums, peaches, nectarines, and apricots. There are more than 1,000 types of cherries, such as Rainier cherries and sweet cherries. Some cherries are sweet, while others are sour, and colors range from red to yellow to nearly black. \nCherries are usually harvested in the late spring and throughout the summer. You can freeze cherries to enjoy them outside of cherry season. Follow this step-by-step guide for freezing cherries:\n\n1. __Pick fresh, ripe cherries.__ Avoid freezing cherries with bruises.\n2. __Wash the cherries__. Wash the cherries and pat them dry with a paper towel. Remove the stems.\n3. __Pit the cherries__. You can push a cherry pitter or an unbent paper clip through the cherry to remove the pit. You can also slice the cherries in half to remove the pits. (Pitting the cherries after they thaw is more challenging.)\n4. __Flash freeze the cherries__. Spread the pitted cherries in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper. Freeze the cherries for at least two hours or until they’re solid. Flash freezing will prevent the cherries from sticking together.\n5. __Store the cherries__. Transfer the frozen cherries to a freezer bag or airtight container. If you store them in a bag, make sure to push out the excess air before sealing to prevent freezer burn. \nFrozen cherries can last up to a year in the freezer. You can use frozen cherries in baked goods, such as [cherry cobbler](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/cherry-cobbler-recipe) or [cherry clafoutis](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/clafoutis-recipe). You can add cherries to a smoothie, make a cherry jam, or defrost and use them as an ice cream topper. \n\nAfter thawing, frozen cherries won’t be as firm as fresh cherries, but they will be flavorful. Different cherry species have varying textures when thawed, so experiment with freezing different varieties of cherries.\nBecome a better chef with the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com). Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by the world’s best, including Alice Waters, Gabriela Cámara, Niki Nakayama, Chef Thomas Keller, Gordon Ramsay, Yotam Ottolenghi, Dominique Ansel, and more.\nCherries are a popular summer fruit. By freezing cherries, you can enjoy the taste of summer all year round.