By Vanessa Greaves

Make the most of cherry season.

Fresh cherries have a relatively short season, and when they're gone, all you're left with are sweet memories of gobbling them by the handful (and fingers stained with cherry juice). So, to help you make the most of them while they're around, here are 7 of our very best fresh cherry desserts.

If you can't find the fresh sour cherries called for in this recipe, use sweet cherries instead, but cut back on the amount of sugar. Says cookinblair, "Super easy and everyone raved about it. I did use 3 cups sweet cherries instead of sour so I only used ¼ cup sugar on the fruit."

Photo by Vaishakhi

Rave Review: "I usually do not like cherry pie, but my kids wanted me to make one with the cherries they picked. I not only liked, but LOVED this cherry pie. I did not change anything in the recipe." -- leslieh

This top-rated cherry pie has a pastry lid instead of a crumb topping. Fabricgal says, "The absolutely BEST Cherry Pie I have ever made. We have our own cherry tree. I pit them using an opened paper clip which is very easy using larger end of clip. Seed pulls out easily. Do not lose as much juice."

Photo by Meredith

Not all of us have easy access to freshly picked cherries. But here's the good news: You can use frozen cherries and they'll still taste great. "Very yummy & easy sour cherry crisp," says homestead mom of 7. "I made 2 batches both with frozen sour cherries. Both turned out wonderfully! Make sure to let the crisp sit once it comes out of the oven so that it can set up."

Photo by Meredith

Rave review: "This is like velvet in your mouth with bursts of cherry sinfulness. So good you might not even regret it later." -- Tracy Richardson Rudin

Photo by Deb C

Rave review: "Rarely, do I ever see sour cherries in Florida, however, sweet are in abundance in the area right now. I used sweet cherries, reduced the sugar by about ¼ cup and used my Cuisinart Ice Cream maker to process the fruit mixture. The finished texture was classic sorbet, it firmed up perfectly." -- lutzflcat

Photo by Seattle2Sydney

As Chef John says, "Clafouti is one of the world's great recipes for enjoying fresh cherries." Pronounced cla (as in clap)-foo-TEE, the authentic preparation of this recipe leaves the pits in the cherries to enhance the fragrance and flavor of the dish. If you go that route, be sure to warn your guests so they don't chomp down on a cherry pit. Watch Chef John show you how to make cherry clafouti.

Photo by lutzflcat