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Jul 28, 2014 05:01 PM

Preserving fresh cherries without pitting them: anyone tried it?

I've got a bunch of cherries and a crappy cherry pitter. This only means one thing: I'm not preserving any fresh cherries as they wrap up for the season, unless I find a way to preserve them with their pits intact. Only problem is, all the cherry recipes I've seen (cherries in cognac, cherries in Genépy de Alpes, cherries in syrup, etc.) all call for pitted cherries. Has anyone ever tried doing this without taking the seeds out? If so, I'd love to hear how it turned out. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Answer Selected

    Pitting allows the syrup or alcohol to penetrate the fruit through cut flesh, not just through the skin, so it may work to cut through the fruit to the pit, all the way around.

    From there, if you want to go one step further, you could twist the halves apart and pry the seed out with the edge of a paring knife, just as you would do with a peach or apricot, just smaller. I have pitted cherries this way when I wanted a cleaner presentation - two nice halves instead of a ragged hole through the middle. Rather tedious, yes, but not bad if you're only doing a few pounds.


    I was pressed for time and my DH brought home the last of the season's sour cherries. He just put them in vacuum sealer bag unpitted. I'll find out when I get around to using them.


    Thanks for the tips — thinking of trying out babette's technique (if I have the patience). I'll let you know how it turns out!


    I was shown how to do this by a local Italian family: large Bing cherries which were washed and then individually dried, placed in mason jars and then drowned in cherry brandy. The fruit is a little mushy and the alcohol is really reminiscent of cough syrup.