Cherry Pie Recipe

My father loved sour cherry pie so much he planted a cherry tree in our suburban back yard. His plan for Infinite Pie pretty much worked. The little tree produced the first year as I recall and ultimately grew to something like 20 feet. I can still remember how he draped it with nets in a vain attempt to avoid sharing his bounty with birds and squirrels. What can I say, he’s a greedy man. Oh the hours my twin sister and I spent pitting all those things…the stains on our hands — and our Catholic school uniforms! But mom’s pie was worth it. Here’s how it goes:

1 recipe standard pie crust
4 cups pitted sour cherries
3 tablespoons cornstarch or tapioca
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. 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!

12 thoughts on “Cherry Pie Recipe”

    1. Brother, you are speaking my language. I just can’t understand a sweet cherry pie. I mean…where’s the beef?

      Thanks Darren!

      – Joe

      1. I find it really odd that I can’t find frozen tart cherries in the grocery store. If I recall correctly you’re in Kentucky and I’m in southern Indiana, and right above us is Michigan with probably the biggest crop of them in the country. I feel cheated.

        1. Don’t you just? I feel like I’ve seen frozen sour cherries in the past, but I’m probably hallucinating. A restaurant store (the kind that has actual food and not just gear) might be a place to look. I have a membership at such a place here in Louisville. I’ll take a gander next time I’m there. But in the meantime I’ll join you in shaking my fist at the injustice of it all!

          – Joe

  1. I planted a cherry tree in my back yard too. So far the only beneficiaries are the birds.

    1. Nets do work, and in my experience they don’t catch birds. You might consider taking a lesson from my old man!

      – Joe

  2. Growing up, we had a sour cherry tree in Michigan. Oh, how I wished it was a sweet cherry tree. As an adult in California, I have used a myriad of schemes to procure sour cherries for pie and preserves. Without a local source, they are scarce at any price.
    I’m glad there is at least one kindred spirit on the planet.

    1. Hey Mary Lou!

      I’m just not a sweet cherry eater, period. Mrs. Pastry and the girls can’t get enough of them. I suppose it’s as you say: you come to love what you grow up with. I sure wish there was a way to get them here regularly. A cherry Danish just isn’t the same without them!

      – Joe

  3. We planted a sour cherry tree in our home when we moved in, 2009 (Minnesota). First 3 years we got maybe 4 oz of cherries total. Now, we can’t keep up. I have sour cherries in my freezer going back a couple of years. Best $45 investment ever. Sadly diagnosed with celiac a few years ago so more on the crisp side than the pie side now. Highly recommend that anyone consider planting a tree and waiting a couple years to enjoy the bounty – there’s plenty to share with the birds (and dogs who harvest the lower branches!). Still enjoy your blog even though GF!

    1. Great advice Jen! And thanks very much! I know I don’t do much of anything gluten-free (that is more capably done by others), so I’m glad you still have some fun around here!

      Cheers and thanks,


  4. Having grown up in the PNW I’m a Rainier lover, myself.

    I have never had a fresh sour cherry pie (in spite of a couple of years living in Minnesota), but I do absolutely adore dried sour cherries. One day I look forward to being introduced.

    1. Hey Essbee!

      You can actually make pie out of dried cherries. It’s sort of like a raisin pie…you plump the fruit in water before using them. It’s a pretty good method, though it makes me miss the real thing! But yes, one day when you find yourself back in the Upper Midwest, you’ll need to seek some out.



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