My husband, John recently purchase five bags of organic cherries on sale! Such a shopper 🙂 He also delivered an order to our friends, Rosemarie and Joe. As delicious as the cherries were, there was no way we could eat about five founds of cherries. I was thinking of washing the cherries, placing them in a container, and freezing them pit and all… until Rosemarie called. She advised me that the cherries should to be pitted before freezing otherwise the cherries would develop an almond flavor from the pits. As I listened to her over the phone, a running monologue was going on in my head-pit them? That sounds like a lot of work! It’ll take hours with five bags of cherries. I envisioned myself cutting around each cherry pit to remove the cherries from their pits. Rosemarie must have been reading my mind. She said, “Joe has an easy way to pit them. Use the blunt end of a skewer.”
Well, three minds are definitely better than one. It turned out the skewer I was using was too thin and took a bit of maneuvering for the pits to release from the cherries. John tried the blunt end of a bamboo chopstick from the Chinese takeout restaurant. Voilà, the pit popped right out.
Pitting Cherries 101
1. rubber gloves
2. one bamboo chopstick or a pair for s volunteer
3. newspaper or brown paper to cover backsplash
4. organic cherries
5. wax paper
6. one freezer plastic bag or storage container with lid
8. cookie sheet or Pyrex dish
9. organic cherries
1. Wash and dry cherries-drain in colander.
2. Remove stem.
3. Turn cherry over to opposite end of where the stem was. You’ll see a dot.
4. Place the blunt end of a chopstick on the dot.
5. As you hold the cherry firmly with one hand, push the chopstick into the dot. You’ll feel the pit.
6. Continue pushing until you see the pit protrude from the spot where the stem was located.
7. Place the cherry onto a cookie sheet or Pyrex dish with space around each cherry.
8. Place the cookie sheet/ Pyrex dish in the freezer until the cherries are frozen-about 3 to 4 hours. Check by squeezing.
9. Place the frozen cherries into a wax paper-lined plastic bag or a container to store in freezer. If you plan to use a plastic bag, squeeze the air out of the bag before placing in the freezer. This will keep the cherries dry and prevent them from sticking together. Air might cause some condensation, which will result in wet cherries that will stick together. If the cherries are kept dry and separate, you can defrost the number of cherries you need instead of the entire bag that has frozen into one solid piece of cherry ice.
1. I used a Pyrex dish to freeze the pitted cherries. A cookie sheet could not fit into my freezer-too narrow.
2. I used a plastic bag zip bag so I could store more cherries and so that I could remove the air by squeezing. (See above #9)
3. Make sure you see a pit pop out of each cherry. You don’t want to spoil someone’s dessert enjoyment chomping on a pit! Ouch!
4. Save some cherries for my raw cherry pie recipe!