The Easiest Way to Pit Cherries

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?