The garden is still producing, and the fruit and nut trees are starting to offer up their goodness, too! Daughter Number 4 and I spent some more time in my parents’ yard and garden over the weekend. The dwarf cherry tree was full of ripe fruit! We took to picking the cherries and realized we might need some additional hands. Daughters Two and Three helped with the picking, too. Even a dwarf tree kept some of the fruit far above our reach from the ground. A step ladder helped us get a few more. We filled a fairly large tub full of the sour cherries.
Now that we had all of these cherries, we had to decide what to do with them. It seemed that almost everything we wanted to make out of cherries required us to pit them. Growing up in a small Kansas town where people still grow vegetable gardens and have fruit and nut trees on their property I had heard many times how horrible pitting cherries is. Having never dealt with fresh cherries before, I do not own a cherry pitter. I did a bit of online research and read many accounts that echoed what the older women in my community said about cherry pitting. It sounded like the pits. So, I read a little more and found some nifty sounding tips to easier cherry pitting. I decided to try the method that I read using drinking straws. Just put the tip of the straw on the stem end of the cherry and push gently. The pit came right out the bottom! Beautiful! I enlisted the help of the girls to pit cherries with me and we made quick work of the bulk of the cherries. I gave over six cups (pits in) to one of my brothers.
I used some of the cherries to make a cobbler and froze the rest. That was also very easy. I just laid the pitted and cleaned cherries on a baking sheet (or three) and popped them into the freezer. After 8 hours the cherries were frozen and I could put them into freezer bags! They are ready for me to use anytime, and the work is already done!
Fresh Cherry Cobbler
1/2 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
3 cups fresh pitted sour cherries
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the butter in a 9×13 inch baking dish, and place in the oven to melt while the oven is preheating. Remove as soon as butter has melted. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar, and baking powder. Mix in the milk until well blended, pour the batter into the pan over the butter. Do not stir.
Place cherries in the mixing bowl, and gently toss with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of flour. Distribute the cherry mixture evenly over the batter without stirring.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm alone or topped with ice cream.
Adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/fresh-cherry-cobbler/
Everyone loved this amazing fresh cobbler. We took some in to share with my dad so he could enjoy the cherries off of his tree. He really liked it, and got a little bit irritated with my mom when she was trying to take bites, too!
I am thrilled to have spent the time with my girls’ dong something productive, using the fresh fruit that my parents’ tree provided and sharing with my family. I’m also glad that I didn’t let any of the things I had heard about pitting fresh cherries deter me from what turned out to be truly rewarding.
I hope you take the opportunity to pit some cherries and enjoy them – just a little bit from me, to you!