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No, it does NOT look like what you think it looks like. What a dirty mind.

The Easiest Way to Pit Cherries

use a star tip pastry tip to pit cherries
No, it does NOT look like what you think it looks like. What a dirty mind.

Know how I usually pit cherries? In my mouth, on the way into my belly. Around here we gobble them straight from the bowl; they’re gone too quickly for any other use.

But horror of horrors, I brought home a not-so-good batch from the farmers’ market. I won’t say it was bad since in my book there’s no such thing as a bad batch of cherries, but they weren’t suitable for eating out of hand. Clearly, something had to be done.

I’m not big on single-use gadgets, so I’ve never owned a cherry pitter. (Plus, y’know, that whole I use my mouth thing.) But I do own a set of cake-decorating tips, including the handy-dandy size-18 star tip you see here. With it, I pitted a quart of cherries in about 10 minutes.

130707 star tip

In case it’s not obvious how this works:

  1. Place the star tip inside a small bowl, to catch any juices. Have another small bowl ready for the pits, plus a larger bowl for the pitted cherries.
  2. Pull the stem from a cherry and place it, stem-side down, on the jagged edge of the star tip. Push down gently until you feel the pit, then give it a little more force until the pit pops up through the cherry.
  3. Transfer the pit to the empty small bowl, and the cherry to the larger bowl. Once you’re done, pour any juices accumulated in the pitting-bowl into the cherry bowl.

Ta-da! See, wasn’t that easy? They’re not beauty cherries, since you’re busting the pit through the bottom, but when you’re cooking cherries (or using them for popsicles, as I did), beauty don’t matter a bit.

I should add: If you don’t have a star tip, any pastry tip with a decent-sized round opening would work. I’ve also heard of people using chopsticks, drinking straws, bobby pins, and paperclips. There’s a whole world of cherry-pitter hacks out there.

What’s your favorite method? And perhaps more importantly, what’s your favorite thing to do with all those pitted cherries?

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Monique Alcott

    Mind blown. Life improved. Thank you.

  2. Theresa

    Last spring (I’m in CA) we picked something like 18 lbs of cherries. It completely filled a giant bucket and when I got home my bottom crisper drawer of the refrigerator. I used the beer bottle/chopstick method for my first pie. Empty beer bottle either on cutting board or in shallow bowl for the minimal juices. Center cherry on top of bottle. Poke a chopstick through it. The pit will go into your bottle with minimal juice splatter. I have to say though, after that first pie I ordered an OXO cherry pitter. I went on to make brandied cherries, cherry liquor, another cherry pie, cherry chocolate scones, etc, etc. My absolute favorite recipe though was the roasted cherry goat cheese ice cream. Amazing.

    1. Debbie Koenig

      Whoa. Eighteen pounds of cherries. I think I’d be tempted to dump em out on the bed and roll around in em, like dollar bills 😉

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