I wanted to juice some limes, and lend some of their juices to this sour cherry granita.
Sour cherry-lime granita? Mmmm wonderful, yes.
I didn’t though.
I remained true to my cherries. I kept their beautiful and genuine promise that they continue to share with me summer after summer to myself this time, and that, I think, is a pretty good way.
I wanted to do right by them, preserving their bright, tart-sour, nutty-almond flavor in truly giving these guys a chance to show off all they’ve worked for in sticking around for three short, maybe, four weeks out of the summer.
Later weeks of June and first weeks into July actually. Also, there is another variety in late spring.
Needless to say, the lime addition was tempting.
Sour cherries are certainly juicier than their sweeter and firmer fleshed cousins. Their pit actually gives some more and eases out smoother from their bright little red globule.
The good news, is that this thing is easy to make. Though, I know the tedious act of pitting cherries may sound a little daunting, but I have a little trick to help with that, no fancy cherry pitting device involved. That, in a second.
First, something special you may not know about their pits-when you take them and crush them, it gives you an almond flavor. Interesting and beautiful right? It makes sense.
Cherries are such complex little packages, yet their flavors can stand up to a lot of flavors and for this reason-they have almond characteristics, providing endless possibilities in sweet and savory applications.
Imagine the flavor that could be applied to a handful of culinary techniques in simply extracting almond-y notes from a cherry pit? Brines, pickling, infusing etc.
I will have to try it some day.
Back to cherry pitting. With these, all you need is a paperclip and some patience. A paperclip yup, a little known trick I read somewhere.
You unfold the paperclip into it’s long “S” shape by keeping the arches intact. Then perhaps give it a wash, I did, a little paperclip wash. Maybe you have figured it out by now, but next you take either end of the paper clip arch and insert it into the top, where the eye meets the stem, and just pull out the pit. They release so easily and with some of their juices too, so you want to work over a colander of sorts and save that stuff. It’s good.
Then just puree away and follow a simple recipe.
A super quick hit that’s icy and tart for a hot summer day. Also, be sure to not pit all of your cherries, save a couple on side when you serve yourself a little bowl.
It’s for that summer luster. Obviously, it’s necessary.
It was fun pitting cherries at two in the morning.
Especially since I was in good company with D. next to me eating bread, I was pitting, and both of us just going on about nonsense, being super looney, and cracking up over our typical schtick we carry on with one another. It was great.
Nothing is better than sharing food moments with your best friends and loved ones. Happy night.
Happy night for the making of a happy day of shooting a sour cherry granita.
Sour Cherry Granita
Recipe adapted and altered from Martha Stewart Living
Makes 2 1/2 cups
1 1/2 pounds fresh or frozen sour cherries, pitted
1/2 tablespoon apple cider or balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of white sugar
2/3 cup water
Place a colander over a bowl and pit the cherries, reserving the liquid.
Put cherries and reserved liquid in a blender or food processor until pureed. Pass the pureed cherries through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl while using a utensil that spreads the mixture against the sieve to extract all juices. Discard the pulp. You can also reserve a tablespoon or so to add to the granita mixture for some texture.
Add the vinegar to the juice in the bowl and set aside.
In a medium sauce pot or pan, heat the sugar and water for about four minutes and until sugar has dissolved. Let cool.
Add the cooled syrup to the cherry juice and stir until combined. Put the mixture in a shallow container large enough to contain it and place in the freezer. After 1 hour or so, take a spoon and release some of the ice crystals that have formed around the edges of the pan by pushing them to the center of the mixture. If there are any lumps, make sure to take the back of the spoon to even out the layer. For better results, repeat this step one more time in another hour. This helps achieve a truly light and grainy texture to the ice. Freeze for about 5 hours or until completely frozen. Store covered, and serve up to 3 days.