Pitting Plums (and Keeping Fingers)

20180701_184827I have a few (okay, a fair amount, ummmm… maybe a lot) of kitchen gadgets.  Some I use more often than others, but I really do use them all at some point in time.

This is the point of the “tear” at the stem end.  This points the way!

Most of the smaller gadgets tend to be “single-use”, meaning they have one specific purpose.  A few can be a little more versatile, depending on what they are.  I have gone through my kitchen drawers to thin the herd here and there, but there is one handy tool that I won’t get rid of: my plum pitter.

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You’ll cut along this line to cut the plum in half.

The thing has wicked sharp edges and is even more wickedly pointy.  This is actually good, given the job it has to do.  This allows for you to remove pits from plums with minimal amount of waste, which is always a plus.  However, it can be a dangerous tool if you don’t know how to use it right.  Ask me how I know.

Cut all around the plum.  Watch your fingers!

The trick you need to know to use this tool well, is to be able to tell which way the pit is oriented.  Plum pits are flat and oval-ish shaped so it does matter which way you stab your plums with the pitter.  How can you tell how the pit is oriented when plums aren’t see through?  Look at the stem end of the plum.  You’ll notice that it isn’t really perfectly round, but instead is more tear-shaped (that’s “tear” as in the stuff that comes from your eyes).  If you follow the pointy end of the tear-shape, you’ll also notice that there is a faint line that goes from the stem-end to the bottom of the plum.  This lines up with the edge of the pit.  If you slice along this line with a knife you will cut all along the edge of the pit and will be properly set up to remove it easily with the pitter.

The curve of the plum pitter blade is meant to slide over the curve of the pit.

Once you have sliced the plum all around the edge, you will take the plum pitter and insert the point through the stem end just a little above where the stem would have been.  You’ll feel the pit as the pitter moves over it.  Slide the pitter over the pit to the sides now to cut through the plum flesh and free one half of the plum.  Turn the plum over and repeat the process to completely free the pit from the plum flesh.  Now you can chew the little bit of plum still stuck to the pit.  Oh, is that just me?

Once you have one side free, slide the pitter over the pit to free the other half.

Now your nicely pitted plums are ready to be used for things like jam, or tasty baked treats like cake, or even breakfast!


9 thoughts on “Pitting Plums (and Keeping Fingers)

  1. That is another advantage of prunes. They are firmer, and mostly freestone. I know they are completely different animals, but really, they are easier to process. No one would want to dry them if they had to cut the pits out.
    When peaches grew in Los Gatos for canning, they were cling peaches. I do not know why. It seems to me that freestone peaches would be firmer, and therefore better for canning.


    1. I’ve noticed that commercial canned peaches are frequently yellow cling. There may be a flavor difference? I pit any and all plums we don’t eat straight up. It goes quickly enough once you get into a groove with it. It’s faster than peeling peaches!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your recipes! Very much like my Italian aunties. Who made your “plum pitter”? And what is it for originally? Your plum jam recipe is very much like the one I used in the 1960’s, including turning the jars up side down. I had to abandon that and did a water instead because my jam was so popular I started selling it at my yard sales. But since it is just me and my son, I think I might go back doing certain jams that way again. Mama Nonna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Mama Nonna! I’m glad you enjoy my recipes, it’s always good to hear that because I’m never sure how other people will feel about what I put out. How cool that you were able to sell your jams, and yes, that extra precaution is a good step. I tend to forget to put that in my instructions, but I really should. I have no idea what brand the pitter is, and it is technically called a pitting spoon. They are not easy to find in stores, but they are available online. I got mine years ago from a locally owned hardware store that has a really good home and kitchen department stocked with the type of gadgets good for the do-it-yourself crowd. It’s one of my favorite stores in town!


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