sour cherry pie

June 27th, 2011

Last week I was casually walking through the Union Square Greenmarket when I saw a giant pile of sour cherries. I didn’t waste a minute filling a bag full of them—in fact, I got two bags of them because I’ve been waiting for these puppies for way too long.

It must’ve been two years ago when I was reading through one of my favorite blogs, Lottie + Doof and Tim was professing his love for sour cherries. I immediately wanted to run out and get some, but by the time I finally got around to doing it, it was too late because the sour cherry season is painfully short. And then the same thing happened last year. Two years later, I’ve got two pounds of sour cherries and I’m ready. So I tweeted Tim, asking for his recommendation—sour cherry coffee cake or sour cherry pie? His vote was for pie, so even though I’d never made a fruit pie, I figured there was no better time to try my hand.

I got to work making the crust, pitting the cherries (damn those pits!) and I even made fancy lattice work on top. I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous. But really, there wasn’t much to be nervous about. I kept a pretty good eye on it, making sure that the crust didn’t burn by making a foil crown for the edges. In no time the sweet smell of cherry pie was drifting through my house and I was pumped. There’s no way something that smelled that good could not taste good. 

I brought the pie over to a friend’s house for dessert, pretty jazzed to try this baby out. I mean, like I said before, I’d kind of waited two years to try it. I have to say, I now understand why Tim was gushing about this pie. It is amazing. The crust is buttery and crisp and holds together while cutting the pie into slices. But really, it’s all about the cherries. They’re so worth the wait. They come together to create a slightly gooey, super bold and juicy filling that is perfection, especially on top of that buttery crust.

Please, promise me one thing. If you see sour cherries this weekend, buy them and make this. It does not disappoint.

Sour Cherry Pie
via Lottie + Doof who adapted it from a recipe in June’s Bon Appétit

for the crust:
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
5 tablespoons ice water

for the filling:
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups whole pitted sour cherries
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon milk

for the crust:
Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl to blend.
Add butter and rub in with fingertips until small pea-size clumps form.
Add 5 tablespoons ice water; mix lightly with fork until dough holds together when small pieces are pressed between fingertips, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry.
Gather dough together; divide into two pieces. Form each piece into a ball, then flatten into disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Can be made up to two days ahead. Keep chilled. Let soften slightly before rolling out.

for the filling:
Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 425° F.
Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Stir in cherries, lemon juice, and vanilla. Set aside.
Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch glass pie dish. Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch.
Roll out second dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Using large knife or pastry wheel with fluted edge, cut ten 3/4-inch wide strips from dough round.
Transfer filling to dough-lined dish, mounding slightly in center. Dot with butter.
Arrange dough strips atop filling, forming lattice; trim dough strip overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold bottom crust up over ends of strips and crimp edges to seal.
Brush lattice crust (not edges) with milk. Sprinkle lattice with 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Place pie on rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Reduce temperature to 375°. Bake pie until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, covering edges with foil collar if browning too quickly, about 45 minutes to 1 hour longer. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely. Cut into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Comments: 8 Total

  1. Christina

    June 27, 2011 at 8:28 am

    The pie looks awesome! I don’t know whether I can get sour cherries in London but I’m definitely going to keep my eyes open for them! I’m going to NY in a few weeks to visit my big sis, I’ve done all the usual tourist stuff already and I’m hoping to get some serious eating and exploring done, any top tips? I’ll mainly be around the brooklyn area I think…

  2. Jennifer

    June 27, 2011 at 9:17 am

    One of my favorites! Cherries are everywhere here in the Chicago – I can’t wait to make up the recipes I’ve been finding.
    Beautiful pie!

  3. hannah

    June 27, 2011 at 9:23 am

    beautiful!!! between this and the drink you posted on Serious Eats, I’m going to be busy in the kitchen this weekend :) !

  4. Valerie

    June 27, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    I wish I was willing to put forth the effort to pit dozens of cherries, as that is my absolute favorite pie!

  5. jordan

    June 30, 2011 at 12:17 am

    boom food52! congrats!

  6. gia

    July 3, 2011 at 8:25 am

    my mom makes sour cherry preserves, you should try it! I had a jar all winter, and every once in a while I would pull it out and spoon it onto french toast, oh my gosh- so good!

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