If you’re making a sauce, cherries jubilee, or cherry pie, you’ll need to pit these juicy seasonal treats. Here are a few easy methods.

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What You Need

  • cherries
  • bib apron or kitchen towel
  • chef’s knife
  • cutting board
  • bowl
  • paring knife
  • chopstick or straw
  • cherry pitter

Follow These Steps

  1. Peak season cherries are full of juice and they can stain, so cover up with a bib apron or a kitchen towel tucked in like a bib.
  2. Method 1 (the “olive” method): Place the cherry on a cutting board. Use the side of a chef’s knife to press on the cherry until it gives way.
  3. Pry the fruit apart to reveal the pit and discard it.

    Tip: This method is quick, but it mashes the cherries and you lose some of the juice on your board.
  4. Method 2: Take a paring knife and rock it around the entire cherry, as you would an avocado or peach.
  5. Twist the fruit into 2 halves to reveal the pit; pop it out and discard it.

    Tip: This method results in cherry halves with clean edges, which looks pretty on top of a tart.
  6. Method 3: Using a chopstick, insert the small end into the stem end of the cherry. Give it a wiggle until you make contact with the pit.

    Tip: You can also use a straw for this method.
  7. Switch to the larger end of the chopstick and insert it into the cherry, wiggling until the pit pops out the opposite end.

    Tip: Work over a bowl to catch all the cherry juices.
  8. Method 4: Using a cherry pitter, place a cherry in the center of the pitter. Squeeze down to pop out the pit.

    Tip: No matter which method you use, make sure to give the cherries a once-over before using in case you missed any pits.

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