Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cherries: A guide to pitting

So cherries are in season. There is no excuse for you not to have any in your possession. In fact, just down the street on San Pablo Ave there is a truck parked on the side of the road selling cherries almost every weekday. It’s between 55th and Alcatraz, I think. Go, go now and get your cherries, because they are awesome. Cherries were invented by the gods to be put in baked goods, and therefore automatically have mystical, baked-goods properties. (Please check back in for the magic cherry muffin recipe.)

For now I will show you how to pit cherries without any special gadgets, and give you a quick recipe for cherry puree that will make a great addition to ice cream or your next vodka Collins.

Step 1

Get an oversized paperclip and wash/sterilize it. Bend it (so that you have two little hooks on each end) by pulling the center out like opening a book.

Now you have a cherry pitter!

Step 2

Remove the stems from all of your cherries.

Step 3

Take a cherry and use the smaller end of the paperclip to slowly but firmly press into the cherry where the stem once was. Get the hook around the pit and fish it out.

Step 4
Discard pit. Admire handiwork.

Step 5 (optional)

Get spouse to bake something.

With a little practice, you will be able to
remove the pits without too much cosmetic damage to the cherry.

Cherry Puree

1 cup fresh sweet or sour cherries, pitted
2 oz simple syrup (adjust to taste)
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp Maraschino liqueur

1. Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
2. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove skins, etc.
3. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Intro photo by Alpha Cook, action photos by Beta Wife.


  1. ooooh! tht sounds super easy n FUN...;)
    thanks for sharing this 'how to'

  2. Wow! I never would have thought to do this - I always end up mutilating the cherries while trying to pit them. It's amazing that a simple office supply can perform such a great task in the kitchen!

  3. This is so cool! I just posted a recipe for Fresh Cherry Turnovers, and we were so excited to use our OXO cherry pitter. This is a fine alternative!

  4. You're a genius! I read the post and had to fetch my husband to read it too. He loves cherries but the pits are a pain. Thanks. : )

  5. There is also a guy at 53rd and San Pablo out there almost everyday selling cherries! Five bucks for three pounds!