At my new job I make biscuits. Lots and lots and lots of biscuits. Biscuits everyday. And they are freakishly delicious. It’s also now officially Summer. So that got me thinking about different kinds of Summer-y desserts. Naturally, I thought of strawberry shortcakes because, hello, they are the perfect sweet treat for a steamy summer evening. Yet, I found that to be a bit pedestrian…not that I would EVER turn down strawberry shortcake…well, I might…but certain circumstances would need to happen…like I’m out of Lactaid or I am just absolutely stuffed from dinner of I’ve decided to just hate life in general. Then I started thinking about what else I could include as the fruit du jour for the cakes.
On one of my many trips to the new market downtown, it finally hit me…or it bumped me…literally. I swerved to move out of the path of an oncoming carriage and bumped into the display of cherries. Fresh cherries. Giant bags of cherries, waiting to be plucked and devoured. I’ve enjoyed many days/nights in the summer feasting on cherries. You think you’ll have just one and then before you know it, you’ve had 50 and your lips and fingers are stained red and all you’re left with is a bowl of pits and stems.
Cherries! Yes! That was it. Cherry shortcakes. Mmmmm. My mouth began watering at the very thought. So I grabbed a bag and headed home, determined to come up with something tasty.
Now, I cannot tell a lie. The downside to cherries is the pits. While they do have these cool inventions that pit cherries for you…known colloquially as a cherry pitter (I wonder if sarcasm comes across on here…) I don’t own one. For as often as I need to pit cherries, spending the money on one just doesn’t seem worth it to me. Usually I just eat them like little candies where you try and hide the wrappers and change the bowl to make it look like you didn’t eat nearly as many as you did. But they’re cherries, you shouldn’t feel THAT guilty. Anyways, for this I knew I needed to pit the cherries. It might have been in school, but honestly, I can’t fully remember, but I heard mentioned once that a pastry tip for a piping bag would work. I figured why not give it a shot. I’ve got plenty hanging around.
Set the pastry tip on your countertop (I put down some layers of paper towels first) so that it stands up. Then you pluck off the stem and where the stem came out, plunge it down onto the tip. The pit pops right out. Then, since most of the work is done, just go ahead and rip the cherry in half. Easy peasy. But also messy. Make sure to wear clothes you don’t care all that much about (or be set to do laundry right away).
The last bit of thought process I had with this whole…process…was a bit more in the flavor department. Every single time I have a sip of Amaretto, I get a little hint of maraschino cherry flavor. That’s when I decided I should mix in some amaretto with the cherries (and then, of course, the whipped cream). What a heavenly combination that turned out to be. They taste like fresh cherries with a hint of almond…not that sickly sweet candy flavor of bright red maraschinos.
I ended up buying more than 1 pound of cherries because cherries. So with what was leftover, I pitted them, piled them all into a mason jar and covered them all in amaretto. So now I’m going to wait about a month before I eat one or make a delicious Manhattan with one. So buy more and do that…and then in a month or two I’ll have a Manhattan recipe on here…I hope.