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May 23, 2007 06:41 AM

Pitting cherries...without a cherry pitter.

I've got more cherries left after the three jars of alcohol infusion. I want to make a clafouti, but don't know the best way to pit Bing cherries without a pitter, and keep the full shape intact. Any ideas?

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  1. There are two ways that I know to pit a cherry (without a cherry pitter)--

    1) hammer a (clean) nail through a (clean) board so that the point sticks out. Push the cherry on to the point of the nail so that the pit pops through the other side.

    2) open a paperclip into a skinny "S" shape. Push the top of the S into the cherry and hook the pit with the look and yank it out. This is slow but you'll get the hang of it, and has the advantage of only puncturing the cherry on one side.

    Both methods are ridiculously messy so don't wear your favorite white shirt. I do it in the sink so the juice doesn't stain my countertop/table.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chococat

      And wear gloves, too, or you'll be scrubbing cherry stains out from under your nails for days.

      1. re: chococat

        Oh my goodness, my very first time ever picking cherries and is sooo easy, will take some time but no effort at all, I used a pair of tweezers....stuck one end into the cherry and popped out the pit...That EASY....I am so amazed and happy with myself...

      2. I always use the paper clip method described by the other responder. I hate having gadgets that do one thing. A paper clip is small and as easy. I do find gthat the juice can stain my nails, so if going out soon after or having company, I actually wear rubber gloves.

          1. I thought a clafoutis was supposed to be made with pit-in cherries? They add flavor, and it's simple to warn people to watch for them.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Louise

              I just read a book where a woman would do things like that... leave in pits, or add grit, or even add things like pushpins, so that people would slow down and really savor the food. Of course, the outcome was that they all remembered her as adding really vile things to her food.

              1. re: pamalamb

                Deliberately adding nasty stuff, I would not advocate. But fresh cherries come with pits, and they are not difficult, complicated, or vile to spit out. Demanding of some slight diplomacy of manners, but I hope to not generate controversy by saying that this is something we are probably all capable of accomplishing.

                1. re: Louise

                  Just a personal preference for me to have pitted cherries.

            2. I have done it before by pushing through wthe cherries with a chopstick (the blunt, rather than pointy, shape), but it always breaks my heart to leave so much cherry flesh on the pit. Had to do it when I had a toddler who loved cherries but could not figure out how to spit out the pit.