That’s the shout I hear when the boys find cherries on the counter and eagerly pop them in their mouths and pull off the stems. They can’t resist the deep red fruits, and neither can I. Seeing their happy smiles with cherry juice all over their hands and faces is one of my favorite moments.
When I use fresh cherries in a recipe, I grab my handy Oxo Good Grips Cherry Pitter (not sponsored), which pops the seeds right out with minimal mess. It’s such a unitasker, I know, but it does the job very well and saves me loads of time when processing several bags of cherries. This makes the job so easy I would even turn it over to Builder Guy and Top Gun if I thought they’d actually leave some cherries for the rest of us.
Though we mostly eat cherries out of hand, we also add them to ice cream and make pies and cobblers and this cherry butter. Like the other fruit butters I make, the thickness comes from cooking down the fruit, not added pectin. I add a little bit of vanilla extract which gives the butter a wonderful richness of flavor.
Sweet Cherry Butter
- 3-quart saucepan
- potato masher
- immersion blender or jar blender
- 2 (8-ounce) freezer jars with lids
- 1 pound fresh sweet cherries (stemmed and pitted)
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pour the pitted cherries into the sauce pan and add the lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes. The cherries should be very soft and mashable.
- Mash the cherries with the potato masher to break the skins, then blend with the immersion blender until the mixture is smooth. (Or blend the cherries in a blender until very smooth.)
- Return the pureed cherries to the sauce pan and add the sugar and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered until the mixture is thick, about 25 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Cool completely and divide between the two freezer jars. Store jars in the refrigerator or freezer. Will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator and 3 to 4 months in the freezer.