I cannot tell a lie…

I scarfed the whole thing down while watching reruns of River Monsters last night. But you’d do the same if a quart of Michigan sour cherries dropped in your lap one August afternoon, don’t tell me you wouldn’t! Anyway I’m not sorry because tart cherry pie is, in the parlance of the kids today, tha bomb. Shape yours in the same way I did here for peach pie. Combine all your ingredients, save for the crust of course, in a large bowl and stir it all together.

Pour it into your pie shell and cut your vents, then let the pie rest for a minimum of half an hour to prevent shrinkage. Don’t worry, your runny filling won’t soak in, even though this is an unbaked crust. For extra insurance you could sprinkle a light dusting of tapioca or a little agar or something on the crust before you pour the cherry mixture in, but only if you plan on resting the unbaked pie for over an hour. After resting apply your pie shield to prevent the crust from over-browning and bake 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, then 30 minutes or so at 350.

If you like you can paint on some egg wash for a little extra color. I generally like my fruit pie crusts blonde and rustic, but do what you like (just don’t glue your vent holes shut)!

Allow it to cool at least a couple of hours before cutting it to allow the filling to gel fully. Serve this warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and your guests will pass out.

29 thoughts on “I cannot tell a lie…”

  1. Yum!! I missed the sour cherry season here in Rochester this year due to travel, so I am jealous. My question, however, is why you filled the pie then let it rest, instead of the other way around (let the pie crust rest, then filled the pie).

    1. Hey Ella!

      Oh definitely…resting is key at every step of shaping. Have a look at the peach pie tutorial and you’ll see that I call for resting after the dough is made, after it’s rolled and after the pie is filled. As a result I got almost no shrinkage at all. That’s not skill, that’s just time.

      I’ll write a post on this today, methinks. Thanks, Ella!

      – Joe

    1. It’s not hard I promise, Andrew! I’m going to post about this a little later on I think. Pie crust really isn’t scary! 😉


      – Joe

      1. Well, I can’t wait to see what you have to say.

        I haven’t made any pie crust since last fall, so it’s about time for me to brush up on it 🙂

  2. My theory is that because the dough was handled so much in putting it in the pan,filling it and covering it with more dough that a rest period would be in order from the “stress” of being handled. At least that’s what I think. 🙂

    1. Hey John!

      That’s exactly right. Every time you handle a pie crust you need to rest it…after you make it, after you roll it and after you shape it, as any little bit of working creates activated gluten and that leads to shrinking. So ya gotta be patient and let the pie sit.

      Thanks for the comment!

      – joe

      1. You’re welcome! I’ve learned a lot from this blog,always happy to contribute here in any constructive way. 🙂

    1. I did no such thing! I merely started by making a vent at 12:00, then one at 6:00, 9:00 and 3:00 and so on. The engineering equipment barely entered into it!

      Protractor. Unbelievable…I tell you…I do and I do and I do for you people and what do I get in return…

      – Joe

      1. Are the vents then cutting guides?
        The tradition in my dad’s family was don’t let Grandpa cut the pie/cake. He had managed a NYC hotel during the Depression & could get more slices out of a dessert than physics would dream possible.

        1. They certainly can be, Cath! I generally shoot for 8 pieces out of a typical pie. That’s just about a perfect sized portion to my mind, especially if there’s ice cream involved. And I covet those sorts of cutting skills. Wish I had them!


          – Joe

      2. Haha – go engineering! 45 degrees every time.

        I think we are just jealous at the perfection. And that you don’t normally strive for Martha Stewart-like perfection. And that sour cherries are no where near us at the moment and so we are left drooling and powerless. Powerless! That’s it, I’m moving to Washington.

        We do appreciate how much you give. That’s it, time for a fundraising drive. All you commentators, lets make a donation!

        I never had sour cherries before picking some off of a huge tree in Bosnia. I know, they aren’t supposed to be good for eating…but I loved the sour-sweet one-two punch. Mmm. Haven’t seen them since. 🙁

        1. Ha! That was strictly rhetorical kvetching, Derek, I love what I do and would still be doing it if you were all the audience I had left! I don’t know when or how you had the chance to eat sour cherries in Bosnia, but if those were Morello’s (and they probably were) they were some of the best in the world.

          But I’m all for fundraising! Go! Go! Go! 😉

          Thanks for the terrific comment!

          – Joe

  3. Here’s a question for you–we recently received a Shaker rolling pin as a gift. Instead of one large weighted rolling pin, there are two smaller rolling pins in a frame together. Shakers claim that because it requires less pressure to roll, the result is lighter, flakier crust. Do you suspect there is truth in that? We will probably be testing it out on this pie later this week!

    1. Hey Melanie!

      I’ve seen those, but I’m not sure about the sales pitch. You still have to push and press, I don’t think physics provides us with any free lunches, so to speak. But who knows? I want a full report on it!


      – Joe

  4. Query: can you use the pizza stone at 425 method for glass, pyrex, or ceramic pie plates, or only for metal? (says someone who has accidentally exploded a pyrex pan or two due to heat differentials they just couldn’t cope with…)

    1. That should be just fine, KC. And wow, I’ve never seen that before. Possible a refrigerated pyrex pan on a 425 stone is too much even for pyrex. I generally rest my pies at room temperature anyway. So far I have had no problems!

      – Joe

      1. When Pyrex says “not for stovetop use”, they are *not kidding*. 🙂 (reading the fine print is important, it turns out) Also, yes, if you heat a square pyrex pan on an electric stovetop, it will explode with a sharp retort into mostly small pebbly pieces of glass… which have enough oomph behind them to get pretty much everywhere. Oh, well.

        Anyway, some materials do better with heat shock than others; I have a friend who accidentally broke a sequence of pizza stones by dripping cold sauce onto the hot stone while getting the pizza in the oven, and many friends who have broken jars with heat shock during canning, which was what inspired my query. I would imagine that an oven full of an exploded pyrex pie dish and what used to be a cherry pie would be a pain to clean up as well as a bit of a tragedy. (sour cherry is my favorite!)

        I take it you follow this method with non-metal pans and no tragedies thus far? 🙂

        1. Yes you may not be able to see it but the pie plate I used for this pie was Pyrex. Room temperature to pizza stone was not a problem, but it’s entirely possible I was just lucky. I tend to use crockery pie plates and have never have a problem with them, though I should say that I have had periodic problems with cracking glazes. Emile Henry is not a flawless product, let’s just say.

          Thanks, KC!

          – Joe

          1. Pyrex has changed over the years and they now use a different material than the “old days”. I’ve heard the newer ones tend to explode. Maybe you are lucky, Joe, and yours is so elderly it is made of the “safe” glass.

          2. Mine has definitely been through the wars, I can’t even remember where I got it. But so far I’ve been lucky!


            – Joe

  5. Lol, da bomb… even your “hip” references are dated (90s, in this case). But you’re very good at making pie, so there’s that! 😉

    1. Back to the 70’s if you’re a P-Funk fan! Oh drat I’m dating myself again. Life in the one’s 40’s…it’s such a confusing time…

      – Joe

  6. I agree about sour or as I call them pie cherries. I’m trying to find a cherry tree to plant in my yard but I won’t do one that is all sweet cherries. I WANT SOUR CHERRIES! HAHA. And I have heard the ones from MI trump just about all others…so I am jealous (if late in the game saying so). I would have scarfed it down too. Maybe with the help of a bit of really good seriously vanilla ice cream on top of that pie slice slightly warmed. 🙂

    1. I’ve heard some homesick transplants have tried cherry trees here in Louisville to no avail. Sigh. Let me know if you try it Linda!

      – Joe

      1. Definitely going to do it, Joe, but as to when…. Trying to find one that isn’t all sweet. We do have a montmorency (sp?) cherry that is a sour cherry that grows around the Portland, Oregon area. Just a matter of my nursery finding me one! But I do love to use those in baking so will buy dried for that until I can grow my own and make sour cherry pies (again). Awesome to the point of getting a stomachache eating them off the tree but worth the pain.

        1. Amen. And that’s the cherry they grow in Michigan, about the best sour cherry you can get in the States. Best of luck finding what you’re after!

          – Joe

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