Who wakes up at 7am to bake a cherry cobbler? Apparently this kid.
The cherries looked really good yesterday at the store. When I got them home and ate a quarter of the bag, I realized I needed to stop before my stomach rebelled. I had flashbacks to the Okanagan trips of yesteryear. If your mom has ever canned jam or peaches or salsa, you know that when you come through the Okanagan, you load up. You, being the fruit demon, strategically sit in the back seat in order to have maximum access to the raspberries, cherries, strawberries and peaches. And then, you get sick as a dog for the remainder of the drive home. I was sitting on that ledge when I restrained myself last night.
So what do you do with a giant bag of cherries and no sisters to push them off onto? You bake a pie!
Unless you forgot your pie pan in Maple Ridge, of course.
You make a cheesecake!
Unless you forgot to get cream cheese at the store.
You make cherry sorbet!
Unless you forgot to freeze your ice cream maker in advance.
You just suck it up, pit them and eat them!
Unless…..you don’t have a cherry pitter.
If you are stuck in this situation, I can help you. First, you have to pit your cherries no matter what you’re going to do with them. If someone bites into a pit whilst eating one of your creations, they will never want to eat anything you make ever again. It’s like when I was young and refused to eat onions. No matter how tiny mom chopped those onions, if I found one inside my burger, I would stop eating. That burger was ruined. Pits will ruin things.
So how do you pit cherries when you don’t have a cherry pitter? First, do a little research on the cherry pitter you will someday buy. Because holy buckets does pitting cherries by hand sucks. This is a standard, simple, handheld cherry pitter. If you do the occasional pie or are able to enlist small children to do the work, this is great. If you want to make a dozen pies, you need something that won’t cramp your hands after the first pound.
This is the next step up. You put your de-stemmed, washed cherries in the bucket and punch those pits out to your heart’s desire. The pits fall into the holder below, your cherries into a bowl. Works great!
If you’re insane, you should get one of these. I don’t even. I mean, what?
If you are my hero, you should get this. I adore it. I want it. So cute.
If you find yourself without a pitter, much like I did this morning, don’t worry. I have discovered the most painless way to pit cherries by hand. It’s long and it’s messy, but you’ll live because there’s cherry cobbler at the end of this road.
For this operation, you will need a sturdy plastic straw (like the ones that come with your reusable plastic Starbucks cups), an empty beer or wine bottle, several bowls, a paring knife and paper towels. Wear old clothes, this gets messy.
I did this whole shebang sitting on my couch while watching the news and Live! With Kelly this morning. That has no relevance, I just wanted you to know.
First, de-stem all of your cherries and rinse them. Using your paring knife, make a small cut in the bottom of each cherry (opposite the stem end). Make sure you feel your knife hit the pit. This will allow the pit to release from the cherry without take half the cherry with it.
Now, take your bowl of cherries, the wine or beer bottle, the straw and paper towels with you to the couch. Put two paper towels on your lap and hold the bottle between your knees. You can do all of this at a table, of course, but I like activities that let me watch Kelly Ripa.
Sit a cherry, stem end up and cut side down, on top of the bottle. Use the straw to push the pit out of the cherry and into the bottle. Ta-da! Repeat until you have pitted all the cherries, except the ones you ate for quality control. It’s a little messy and sometimes you have to work to get the damned pit out, but in the end you’ll have perfectly pitted cherries.
Then you can make cobbler! At 7am! I did have a reason for making it that early, I swear. I was going to take it over to Colin’s office for their coffee break. I was! And then Colin called me and told me they’d all been called out of the office.
Cobbler for one, amiright?
- 6 cups pitted cherries (one of those standard sized bags of cherries at the grocery store will do)
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 teaspoons corn starch
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons cold butter
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 egg, beaten
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Combine the filling ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium high heat until bubbling and just starting to thicken like maple syrup. This takes about 10 minutes. You may think it’s too liquid-y, but don’t worry. As it cools, it will firm up.
Meanwhile, mix together the flour, sugars, cinnamon, and baking powder. cut the butter into small pieces, then combine into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or your hands until it looks crumbly. Mix together your egg and milk, then stir into the flour until just combined.
Pour the filling into an 8 inch square baking dish. Using a spoon, drop the topping on top of the filling. It won’t completely cover the cherries, but that’s what cobbler’s are supposed to be! Homey and delicious. Bake it in the over for 25 minutes, or until the toping is browned and the filling is bubbling.
Pro-tip: Put a cookie sheet under the baking dish. Especially if your baking dish is a little shallow. Trust me, your oven will thank me.
Go forth and eat with vanilla ice cream! You can exchange the cherries for blueberries or peaches too. I like this recipe because its dead easy and besides the cherries, you should have all of the ingredients on hand at any time. And you can put it together when you’re pretty much asleep.