For anyone smitten with sour cherries, chasing them from farm stands to farmers’ markets, the chase comes with the understanding that fresh sour cherries require a commitment. The crimson stone fruit with a cult following and an all-too-brief season sparkles like gemstones in the sun. Secured in your market tote and transferred to your kitchen counter, their exquisite flavor comes with a price; sour cherries certainly don’t pit themselves.
I’ve heard about (but never participated in) what is known as a cherry pitting party. My understanding is that enthusiastic bakers take a seat around a perfectly restored farmhouse table, sip tall glasses of icy Rosé, share pie stories, while effortlessly removing stems and pits. (I imagine an awful lot of white linen and red/white gingham featured in those gatherings.) My cherry pitting reality is a little more jarring, with a soundtrack taken directly from Law and Order SVU, and a countertop as pristine as a crime scene. The more I try to contain the indelible cherries, the more they ricochet from cherry pitter to just shy of the Pyrex mixing bowl. Sitting never occurs to me because I believe standing and pitting demonstrates a “let’s get this done” attitude. This could potentially accelerate the task, ushering the cherries into the pie shell with greater speed and efficiency. As a rule, I like the traditional look and the craftiness of a woven lattice-topped cherry pie. Recently however, I’ve been tossing generous handfuls of brown sugar/cornmeal/almond crumb over the cherries. One of the tastiest recipes comes from @petraparedez and if you’re not too exhausted after pitting all those cherries, making a big batch of crumb makes sense; the excess stores easily in a Ziploc in the freezer. And when cherry season is over, and it will be sooner than later, you can contact my pals @hyline orchardfarmmarket in Door County, Wisconsin and they’ll ship them to you, nicely pitted and rarin’ to go.
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm