|One style of a cherry pitting tool|
To Begin: Wash the cherries and pat away the excess moisture. Remove the stems.
Method 1: This method works best on cherries that are a bit soft, but not mushy. If you happen to have one sturdy chop stick, it’s a snap. Poke the chopstick through the stem-end of the cherry, and push without hurting yourself! The pit will –eventually- pop through the other end.
Method 2: Using a small paring knife, cut the cherry in half. Twist to separate the cherry into 2 pieces. Using the tip of the knife, carefully loosen the pit until it pops out. (Personally, I prefer this method.)
Now that you have the knack, and a bowlful of pitted cherries, here’s a simple, dessert to enjoy before cherry-season is over.
Cherry - Yogurt Parfait
Yield: 4 servingsIngredients:
2 cups cherries (that’s about 3 dozen plump cherries) pitted and coarsely chopped (Cherries from the Pacific Northwest and/or Rainier cherries in season work well.)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (1/2 tsp. rosewater may be substituted)
2 cups plain yogurt, low-fat Greek-style
¼ cup lightly toasted pistachios, finely chopped
1. Do Ahead: Combine the cherries and sugar in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
2. Place a strainer over a bowl and drain the cherries. Do NOT discard the cherry syrup! Set the cherries aside.
3. Place yogurt into a mixing bowl. Blend the cherry syrup into the yogurt. Stir in the honey and vanilla extract (or rosewater, if preferred).
4. Set out 4 - 8 ounce tall glasses or parfait glasses. Spoon 1/4 cup yogurt into the bottom of each glass. Distribute an equal portion of cherries among the glasses. Sprinkle pistachios over the cherries. Repeat the layers (yogurt-cherries-pistachios) but do not sprinkle the top layer of pistachios until you’re ready to serve. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, sprinkle the remaining chopped pistachios on the tops.
Note: The parfaits may be assembled and refrigerated one day before serving. BUT, do not sprinkle the top layer of pistachios until just before serving, as mentioned above.