Cherry Pie Recipe

My father loves sour cherry pie so much he planted a cherry tree in our back yard when I was a kid. I can still remember how he draped the thing with nets to keep invading birds out…and the hours my twin sister and I spent pitting cherries for pies. Oh, the stains our our school uniforms! But it was worth it since there’s nothing quite like a good sour cherry pie. To make one you’ll need:

1 recipe standard pie crust
4 cups pitted sour cherries
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup sugar
generous pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl. Shape and fill your pie according to the directions for peach pie, just, you know, using a different filling. Preheat your oven to 425 while the shaped pie is resting. Apply a pie shield a bake for 20 minutes at 425, then turn the oven down and bake a further 25-35 at 350. Cool and enjoy with ice cream!

13 thoughts on “Cherry Pie Recipe”

  1. You didn’t add any thickener! Tapioca or Corn Starch…or a combo of both? My recipe, from Gourmet, July 2007, uses 6 cups cherries, 3 Tbsp corn starch and 2 Tbsp Minute Tapioca, ground. Perfect thickness.

      1. Thanks, Susan! I think I’m going to go with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch since pitted sour cherries are mighty juicy. Cheers,

        – Joe

    1. Oopsie! Good eye, Susan, thanks! I’ll add cornstarch…and maybe a tapioca alternative. Cheers,

      – Joe

    1. Hi James! Actually, check the peach pie instructions. Pie doesn’t need to operate on a crack schedule. You can let the dough and the shaped pie rest almost as long as you like!

      Cheers and let me know if you try it!

      – Joe

      1. Hi Joe,
        I think James was talking about the line that says “Apply a pie shield a bake for 15 minutes at 425, then turn the oven down and bake a further 25-25 at 350”. Probably you meant 20 – 25???

        And… yes I am jealous of your sour cherries too.

  2. I have a question about cooking the filling. Over the years, I’ve developed some guidelines about how to know that the filling’s cooked to the right point, but I also have accepted a certain margin within which I love a homemade pie that’s a little runny as much as one that’s absolutely perfect. I wish there were a sure-fire way. Any suggestions?

    1. Hey JTC!

      There are certainly telltale signs that you’re in the zone. I mostly watch the vents for signs of bubbling. If I don’t see bubbles per se, I know the filling is boiling by the look of the vents: stained a bit and sticky. That’s important because once the filling is boiling it’s as thick as it’s going to get. All you need to do at that point is cool the pie fully and eat!

      I should add that you don’t want to bake your pie for too terribly long after the center starts boiling (did I mention that a vent in the very center is a handy thing?). The reason, because starch thickeners can “un-thicken” when they boil for too long. That’s not a disaster where pie is concerned of course, but an over baked pie filling can be just as runny as an under-baked pie if you aren’t careful.

      Does that help? Cheers,

      – Joe

      1. Yes, it does. Thanks, Joe. I deconstructed a pie, and made the filling in a sauce pan, using the same recipe that I would’ve had I baked it in a shell. It seemed to me that it came to the perfect consistency (given that it would be thicker when cooled) when it had come to a full simmer, sustained for about two minutes. That’s what got me wondering. I think I’ll try a center vent.

        1. I saw that by the way…very clever indeed! I’m going to do something like that for a dinner party I have planned for the weekend!

          Let me know how the next pie goes! Cheers,

          – Joe

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