Ah, just look at that beautiful bowl of perfectly pitted cherries. So fresh you can practically feel the need to wash off your apron from having just returned from picking them in a field behind your house (instead of just the need to wash your hands from a recent trip to the market). I have a deep love for cherries that stems from when I was a kid and my grandmother every holiday would take the time to specially bake a cherry pie because she knew it was my favorite. I’d sneak pieces of that pie throughout the whole day, much to the chagrin of everyone else because by the time I got done there was nothing left for dessert. However, the way my grandmother would make cherry pie is by picking up one of those cans of cherry pie fillings, you know? Not by pitting fresh ones or even using the frozen. Long story short, I, my entire life, never fully grasped how frustrating and MESSY pitting cherries can be. I even bought one of those cherry pitters that are literally only made for pitting cherries, and I hate having one-use-items in my kitchen. And, even with the pitter, you stil have a gigantic mess!! Just look at this mess:
All of that being said, my dislike for the mess that inevitably follows using fresh cherries for your baking desires, it’s totally worth every single pink stain. You just can’t beat the taste of a freshly pitted cherry: sweet, a little tangy, juicy and firm all at the same time just bursting inside your mouth as you sink your teeth into its tender flesh. That’s the flavor you’re going for here with these bars, that and the wonderful, almost shortbread, nutty flavor of the buttery crust.
It just crosses the line of making all of that tiring scrubbing worth the trouble.
98 g (7 Tbsp) Unsalted Butter, Melted
67 g (1/3 Cup) Sugar
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
136 g (1 Cup + Tbsp) All-Purpose Flour
Pinch of Salt
100 g (1/2 Cup) Sugar
2 Large Eggs
Pinch of Salt
32 g (1/4 Cup) All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
112 g (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1 Lb sweet cherries, or about 12 oz when pitted (you can substitute any fruit you desire here)