I did not cut down that cherry tree

But I did eat the cherries. Today on Gourmet.com:

Beyond Pie Filling

So around the Fourth of July, my family rolled up to the generous reader’s front yard, armed with buckets. I was worried this would be some kind of scrawny, homegrown cherry tree with inferior fruit, and we’d have to politely pick cherries and then toss them in a Dumpster on the way home (the fresh-fruit version of “your home-brewed beer is delicious!”). Instead, I found a towering, mature tree, bearing bushels of the same bright-red Montmorency cherries I was paying $7.50 a pound for at the farmers market.

Thanks to Dana Cree and Lara Ferroni for making this story possible; I was just the cherry pitter and scribe.

8 thoughts on “I did not cut down that cherry tree

  1. Lauren

    Ooooh, tell me more about the cherry pit ice cream. I just happen to have both access to a sour cherry tree and and ice cream maker!

  2. mamster Post author

    Well, Lauren, you bust open a hundred cherry pits, chop the “nuts” and infuse them into cream, then sweeten and make ice cream. You could do the same thing with sweet cherry pits or peach or apricot pits and I’ll bet it would be about the same. Make sure you chop them finely and boil the cream, for two reasons: (1) the flavor is subtle, and (2) raw pits are poisonous.

  3. ctate

    FYI: one of my French orkers insists that clafoutis is made with intact cherries, not pitted, otherwise it doesn’t taste right. That said, arguing with Dana Cree on this doesn’t strike me as a recipe for success.

  4. Maggi

    Oh my word… I so wait patiently for sour cherry season each year. Yes. Brief, fleeting and expensive is a good description.

    But, my husband just bought me two montmorency cherry trees and I am about to plant them as soon as the monsoon here in the greater Baltimore area is over. I’m going to try the clafouti. The ice cream is intriguing. I’ll have to try that…

    Where did you get you pitter? I’m still working with a tiny hand-held job, if you can believe that…

  5. mamster Post author

    Maggi, I got my pitter at Sur La Table. It is handheld; they also sell a “high-volume cherry pitter” which looks scary. Fun scary.

  6. Dana

    I wouldn’t argue with the French, it’s always a loosing battle…. and yes, they do in fact leave the cherry pits in. This is also common in, well, every european culture. I have been told that you just know the pits will be there and to spit them out. Kind of like watermelon before they mucked it up by making it seedless.

    If you do this though, you’ll never get to make the cherry pit ice cream!

    I also like to take the kernals from the pits, pulse them with sugar in a food processor, and toss that sugar with stone fruits in pies, cobblers, and so on.

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