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Sour Grapes, er, I Mean Cherries

Have I ever mentioned how much I love cherry pie? It is my favorite pie and one of my favorite desserts ever. Yet I have never made a cherry pie from scratch. (Parenthetical digression: We don’t eat a lot of pie, but when we do, it’s usually made from scratch. I specialize in crust. I like to call myself the CrustMaster 2000™ mostly because I have been using a food processor recently instead of a pastry blender to cut in the shortening.)

I have never seen fresh sour cherries for sale at the market, so imagine my excitement when we found sour cherries for sale last week at the fabulous Brown’s Orchard & Farm Market in Loganville, PA. We bought all they had and packed the station wagon with cherries (OK, not quite).

Coincidentally, Anne noticed an Oxo cherry pitter featured in the September issue of Fine Cooking (page 22). Never having had any cherries in need of pitting, we were shy one cherry pitter, so naturally she ordered one. You can’t miss the thing; it’s right on the home page.

Oxo home page with cherry pitter

Sure looks as if Oxo’s trying to move some cherry pitters, doesn’t it? Ha!

When the cherry pitter didn’t arrive with our order, we were stunned to learn that our order was cancelled! Reason: “Product not available.” Not even back-ordered as if it were out of stock, just cancelled.

Products are discontinued for all sorts of reasons, but they were featuring the cherry pitter so prominently, we just had to go back to and check. Sure enough, it’s still the featured product on the home page. In fact, you can still add one to your shopping cart! Criminy. Don’t they have computers or something to keep track of this stuff?

So now what are we supposed to do. Pit our cherries by hand?


I've never used a cherry pitter, but the construction looks very similar to a garlic clove peeler, and I do know that that tool does not work.

I made a sour cherry clafoutis earlier this summer. yummy.

I too enjoy a good pie crust, Mr. CrustMaster 2000. Surely someone else has these in stock?

Colin, once we got over the shock we realized that there were probably plenty of cherry pitters languishing unbought at various retailers, although many places list it as out of stock. We found some at Williams-Sonoma and bought two. The extra one will go to the highest bidder for this apparent rarity among kitchen gadgets.

I bought a cherry pitter earlier this summer at Fante's in the Italian Market. It wasn't an OXO one, but has proven to be quite effective (it does create a slightly morbid splatter effect, but I have a feeling they all make your kitchen look like you've committed small-scale murder). I have a quart of pitted sour cherries in my freezer, just waiting for the right crust or cake batter.

I have a feeling that I would dig really good cherry pie. Unfortunately, I've never had really good cherry pie.

But now I've got that song (and video) stuck in my head. "I love cherry pie..."

I wish I was in York last weekend; I might have run into you. I'm going this weekend and will of course make the pilgrimage to Brown's. I hope to find some nice second quality peaches for jam.

I'm actually surprised you found sour cherries in August. For some reason, I thought they were a mid June crop. Anyway, last year I made sour cherry jam and pitted the cherries by hand. Between pitting and chopping, it took me hours and it's not something I look forward to attempting again.

I hope you enjoy whatever you end up doing with those cherries.

Melissa, you’re right about the date. Brown’s harvest calendar lists cherries as being available late June/early July. Anyway, have fun at Brown’s!

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