How to Pit Cherries (when you don’t have a cherry pitter)

Cherry Cream Tart with Chocolate-Almond Shells

Sometimes a cherry pitter seems like it would come in handy, especially if you’re making something like this:

Cherry Cream Tart with Chocolate-Almond Shells

I made these Cherry Cream Tarts with Chocolate-Almond Shells a few days ago and I’m still savouring those sweet, ruby red cherries.

If you’ve seen my Instagram feed lately or had a look inside my dishwasher for that matter, you’d notice I’m eating a lot of cherries lately. I’ve been eating cherries by the mouthful, in smoothies and of course in desserts.

Those Cherry Cream Tarts started with stewed cherries, which were cooked down with lemon juice, Sucanat, a splash of water and black pepper (sounds unusual, but cherries love black pepper and make a tantalizing flavour combo).

I also made a coconut-vanilla chia pudding that I topped with a wickedly good rhubarb-cherry compote.

Hope to share that recipe with you soon… and hopefully before the fleeting cherry season ends!

Of all the gadgets I think I need at least once a year, a cherry pitter probably tops the list.

Truthfully, rarely do I ever consider this purchase in December, but in July, well in July, it seems like a necessity, the real answer to my ruby-stained cherry pitting woes.

Being a practical person, try as I might, I just can’t yet justify the (what seems to me like) gratuitous space required for a gadget that literally has one purpose (well, maybe two if it also pits olives).

So, in the spirit of self-sufficiency and using what you have available to you, here are my simple ways to pit cherries without a cherry pitter.

My two favourites are of course right in line with my “lazy girl” cooking philosophy:

1. If you’re planning to cook your cherries, I never pit them beforehand. Once cooked and cooled, they’re soft and easily pitted by hand. Simply push the pit through the flesh until it pops through the other side. Wear gloves if you like… or be prepared to have red/pink hands!

2. If the cherries don’t need to be kept whole for your recipe, cutting them in half with a knife makes it easy to pit them. Simply cut and then use the end of the knife to remove the pits.

Other ways to pit cherries are:

  • Using a paper clip that’s been shaped into an “S” shape. Press the loop into the cherry, find the pit, hook the loop around it and pull it out. A bit difficult, definitely messy but doable.
  • Using tweezers (I haven’t been able to master this yet!)

Do you love cherries? What do you use to pit them?

Life is a plate… Eat up!


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