Cherry Pit Bread Baskets
Posted on 07 December 2017
When Nate and I were in Paris on our honeymoon, we were lucky enough to enjoy lunch at the Louis Vuitton Foundation. It's a gorgeous art museum designed by architect Frank Ghery and the building itself is a work of art. Plus, lunch at the restaurant was amazing!
But surprisingly, my favorite part of the meal was the bread baskets. The bread was brought out in linen baskets, lined with cherry pits to keep the bread warm. How brilliant is that?! Thank goodness Nate snuck a picture so that I could remember them for when we got home.
Cherry pits have been used for centuries to fill heating pads. They are essentially small pieces of hardwood that trap a small bubble of air in their core when dried. Because of this, the pits retain their temperature extremely well. When heated, the pits will hold their heat for 20-30 minutes, but can also be kept in the freezer and used as an ice pack.
I originally thought that I could save my cherry pits from this summer's bounty, but quickly changed my mind. Let me just tell you...cleaning cherry pits is no small feat. Save your time and buy them already cleaned and dried! I bought mine from an Etsy seller, but you can find them from other sellers online as well.
For my version, I wanted to use a light interfacing in the fabric bucket to add a tiny bit of stability to the Hemp Cotton Ticking that I used for both the main and lining fabrics. Because interfacing is not microwavable, I decided to make the cherry pit bag removable so that I can heat it up and then place it in the bottom of the basket.
You can use canvas, linen, cotton, or any other fabric you choose for the bucket exterior and lining. However, the bag that you sew for the cherry pits should be 100% cotton or linen. Any synthetic fabrics should not be used as they are not microwave safe!
- 2 x 12” squares fabric for exterior (I used our Hemp Cotton Ticking for both the exterior and the interior fabrics, just changing the direction of the stripes to differentiate the two)
- 2 x 12” squares fabric for interior
- 2 x 12" squares fusible interfacing (The weight is up to you! If you use a heavier interfacing, your basket will stand up sturdier. I used a light-weight interfacing so that it kept some of the fabric’s natural drape)
- 2 x 7" squares of natural fabric for the cherry pit bag (100% cotton or linen)
- dried cherry pits, about 2 cups
1. Iron the interfacing to the wrong sides of both interior squares.
2. Pin together the two exterior fabric squares with right sides facing. Sew around three edges with a 3/8" seam allowance. Repeat with the interior squares.
3. Sew box corners. Carefully line up the seam on the side of the bucket with the seam of the bottom of the bucket (right sides facing). Pin and draw a line perpendicular to the seams that is 2.5" from the point of the corner. Sew along the line. Cut the extra fabric, leaving a 3/8" seam allowance. Repeat for all four corners (two on the exterior, two on the interior).
4. Sew the two buckets together by placing one inside of the other with right sides facing. Sew around the top of the bucket with a 3/8" seam allowance, leaving a 3-4" hole for turning.
5. Pull the buckets right-side out through the gap. Shape by nestling the interior bucket inside the exterior bucket.
6. Iron the top edge and press the raw edges of the gap to the inside of the buckets. Topstitch.
7. Pin the two 7" squares for the cherry pit bag together with right sides facing. Sew around all edges, leaving a 3-4" hole for turning on one side.
8. Turn the bag right-side out and press, folding the raw edges of the gap to the inside of the bag.
9. Fill the bag about 1/2-2/3 full with cherry pits. Topstitch the gap to close.
To use your new bread basket, just remove the cherry pit bag from the basket and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Place the bag back in the basket and add bread. Cherry pits should stay warm from 20-30 minutes, just long enough for dinner!