Is there anything better than ripe seasonal cherries? This time of year my favorite snack is a handful of sweet black cherries.Though I love to snack on them, I rarely cook/bake with them.
Reason why you ask?
I hate pitting them.
I make such a mess of my hands, walls, counters, floors. Anything in close range of me while pitting gets splattered with bright red juice. Cherry stains generally do not come out! When I was contacted by OXO to try out their new cherry pitter.
Heck yes I'll try it out and cross my fingers I don't make a huge mess when making cherry pies. Do you know how long it takes to pit 4-6 cups of cherries for a pie? A lifetime I tell ya.
With my new pitter it's easy peasy! I set my 5 yr old to work when we made a pie over the weekend. The new OXO Cherry Pitter is so easy to use even a kindergartner can use it!
|Yes... he pits cherries shirtless!|
In addition to sending me the pitter, I also received a new ice cream scoop! Seriously, I didn't own one. Who doesn't own an ice cream scooper?? I use my 1 tbs cookie scoop most of the time haha.... the kids love little balls of ice cream.
OXO is also hosting a Cherry Recipe Contest in the month of July. A panel of OXOanians will be choosing 3 winners. 1st place $500 worth of OXO loot, 2nd $350 worth, and 3rd 200$ worth of tools.
Recipes will be judged on presentation, creativity, and taste.
Now I could enter my Cherry Pie... it's good. Really really good. But how many people do you think will do a cherry pie? Probably a bunch. I want to think outside the box.....
What to make, what to make....
I set out with a huge bowl of freshly pitted black cherries the other morning with no directions.... I grabbed a half a package of cream cheese, some sugar, and some graham crackers. (I desperately needed to go grocery shopping. I kinda felt like I was giving myself a chopped challenge! What kind of dessert can I whip up with hardly any ingredients??
So the cherries after being pitted have this perfect hollow cavity. So lets stuff them with sweetened cream cheese. Kinda like a cheesecake? Cherry cheesecake after all is a traditional go to cherry recipe right?
Ok. Cherries are filled with cheesecake. Now what?
I still had some grahams, so lets make them into crumbs.
Wow these look like bread crumbs....
AHA. We are going to "bread" these babies and fry them!
Utter freaking genius!
I'm still patting myself on the back for this one.
I was nervous because I had no idea what I was in for when I dropped these cherries covered in sugary cookie crumbs into oil.
As most of you know I'm deathly afraid of hot oil. (You'd probably never know with the fried recipes I have been banging out this summer.... but I'm afraid. Super afraid!)
First cherry... kinda exploded. So what did I learn?
Don't fry them so long. When the cherry cooks for too long it starts to crack and then the cheese falls out and the graham crumbs fall off.
Okie dokie lets try this again. 20 seconds in hot oil should be enough.
They are best eaten hot before the juices start to sog down the crumbs. But you have a good hour before that happens. Even if it does... it still tastes great. Just not as crispy.
Fried Cherry Cheesecake Bites
24 pitted cherries (using your trusty OXO cherry pitter)
FOR YOUR FILLING:
4 oz room temp cream cheese
3 tbs of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
FOR YOUR COATING
1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup of buttermilk
Oil for frying
-Heat your oil to 375.
-In the mean time mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together. Place into a piping bag fitted with a small tip. Fill each cherry with your cream cheese mixture.
-In a shallow pan/bowl mix crumbs and salt together.
-Add butter milk to a separate bowl
-Roll cherries into graham crumbs, then into the buttermilk, then repeat process. I did it 3 times to give each cherry a nice coating that stuck well.
-Place no more than 3 cherries at a time into your hot oil for 20-30 seconds. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon or basket. Place onto a paper towel to "drain" the grease.
Enjoy your bites hot!
**UPDATE!! This recipe WON the OXO Cherry Recipe Contest! Thank you OXO, I greatly enjoyed my $500 OXO spending spree.**
Want to learn more about OXO's Blogger Outreach Program? Click HERE.
(Disclaimer, OXO provided me with the pitter. I have received no monetary compensation to write this post. My recipe is entered in the OXO Cherry Recipe Contest. All opinions are my own)