I had a day off in the middle of the week this week and I used it to pick cherries! A friend of mine had posted pictures of her cherry picking adventure on Facebook and I was a bit jealous so I had to go myself. I have been cherry picking before, but this year, I decided to get a bunch (10 lbs) and make all sorts of things with them! I picked up 5 lbs of sour cherries and 5 lb of sweet cherries.
Of course, while I was paying for my haul, I noticed a cherry pitting contraption for sale. And, there was really not much the girl had to say before I said – I’ll take one! I bought the Norpro Deluxe Cherry pitter – I paid $17.
This thing is awesome! You just load the cherries the top and press the plunger down on each one and it pits the cherries without totally mashing them up. Very nice. If you have a large haul of cherries to get pitted, I recommend spending the $17 as it will make your life easier. And there was something kind of fun pushing that plunger down each time.
That being said, it can splatter a bit so don’t be wearing Sunday’s best while you are working with this – or doing anything with cherries for that matter. It will stain and you will get some on you no matter how careful you are.
For my first project, I decided to make brandied cherries. I always love when you go to a nice restaurant and they have fancy cherries in my Manhattan. Although, I have cherries that are a bit bigger than the traditional maraschino variety – I figured, “brandy and sugar and spices– how can that be bad no matter what kind of cherry it is?”
I used about 5 cups of the sweet cherries for this project. I also used a middle range brandy that I got from the supermarket – nothing too fancy.
I did some internet research and found two “recipes”.
The first is from NYT Cooking – the link is here – SPICED BRANDIED CHERRIES
The second method I found on this page – BRANDIED CHERRIES
I did a bit of each method – you are supposed to let these babies sit for a while to soak up the flavors , so I’ll have to get back to you on which I like better.