Introduction: How to Pit a Cherry & Keep the Stem.
There are all sorts of methods for pitting a cherry, but what if you want to keep the stem intact?I had an abundance of cherries this year and wanted to make my own maraschino cherries. All the recipes I found pitted their cherries in different ways, but none with the stem still on. I wanted mine to have that nice stem so I could place them gently on top of a sundae, or eat them straight from the jar. The end result was perfect and I had several people ask, "how did you do that?" So here's what I did....
Step 1: What Tool?
I have seen all kinds of contraptions used to pit cherries. Most of which you have to remove the stem or pit the cherry from the side if you want to keep the stem. That just leaves a mangled mess of your cherry. I wanted to replicate the maraschino cherries you can buy in the store. I myself do not own a cherry pitter so I do mine all by hand with my cheap-o vegetable peeler. Peeler themselves come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You will need a narrow single blade peeler, that has the beveled end. I think I found mine at the local dollar store. THAT'S IT! The magic tool.
Step 2: Pitting From the Bottom
To leave your stem intact and your fruit nice and plump, you will pit the cherry from the bottom.
1. Select a nice ripe cherry for pitting.
2. Holding the cherry in one hand and the peeler in the other, insert the point of the peeler into the bottom of the cherry.
3. Push the peeler up towards the top of the cherry (where the pit is). You will be able to feel the pit when you come to it.
4. Using your thumb on the outside of the cherry, gentle press the pit against the blade of the peeler.
5. Keeping gentle pressure on the pit, pull the peeler with the pit back out of the bottom.
You will be amazed at how easily the pit will slide out of the cherry along the blade of the peeler.
Step 3: The Finished Product
The end result leaves a relatively whole healthy looking cherry. I also work faster pitting this way then having to hassle with filling, and emptying the pitter I've used. Once they are pitted you treat them as you would any pitted cherry, by soaking them in a citrus water bath to prevent browning. From there it's all up to you, whether you are making maraschinos, a fruit plater, or quick snack for the kids. Best of luck & may all your pitting dreams come true! I know mine did! :)
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