If you don’t have one, run out right now and buy yourself a cherry pitter. It’s one of those tools that you never knew you needed until you have one, and then you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. Any small fruit with a pit can be dealt with using a cherry pitter, and this includes the jar of green olives that you bought by mistake thinking they were the ones stuffed with pimiento, but I digress. Practicality aside, there is something so peaceful and down home about pitting cherries. I put it right up there with shelling peas and stringing beans. To some it probably seems like a chore, but to me, it’s a satisfying way of celebrating the bounty of summer.
Another satisfying way is to indulge in one of my favorite fruits, those blushing beauties, Rainier cherries, just beginning to come into season. They are delicious as is, but dip them into dark chocolate and I guess it’s about as close to heaven as you can get. And, if you don’t over indulge, you have a good-for-you snack that is going to satisfy mind, body, and soul. High in fiber, cherries are also an important source of potassium, vitamin C, antioxidants, and micronutrients. The best part (aside from the taste), is that one cup of cherries contains only 90 calories! Yes, the chocolate is going to add a few more, but is well worth it when you consider the cardiovascular benefits. Quick, easy, healthy, delicious, these have to be the perfect snack food. Oh, and if you really want to indulge (and dazzle), plop one of these on top of your favorite ice cream sundae.
Chocolate Dipped Rainier Cherries
1 pound Melissa's Rainier Cherries
Tear off enough parchment to cover a cookie sheet, place parchment on top and set aside.
Place cherries in a colander, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry. Using your new favorite cherry pitter tool, pit cherries from the side, leaving the stem intact. Set aside.
Pour chocolate chips into the top of a double boiler and place over water that is just simmering. As they begin to melt, stir chocolate until smooth and then turn heat to the lowest setting. Holding cherries by stems, drag, one at a time, through the melted chocolate. When they are covered to your liking (you can immerse the entire cherry, or, as I did, leave a bit of the fruit peeking out the top), and place on the parchment paper to set.