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.
In case it’s not obvious how this works:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?