Sweet Cherry Pie
Most commercial cherry pies, and the cherry pies my grandmother used to make for us growing up, are made with sour cherries, which are bright, bright red, and almost impossible to find fresh.
But if you have access to fresh sweet cherries when they are in season (or even frozen out of season), you can easily make a pie with them too!
What makes the recipe work is to not add too much sugar. The cherries are already naturally sweet. We also add some almond extract to the filling.
There’s something magical about the flavors combination of cherries and almonds (see our cherry clafouti), and they work great in the pie.
By the way, it does help to have a good cherry pitter. Those pits can be rather time consuming to remove.
We've used 1/2 cup of sugar for the filling, which results in a pie not overly sweet. You may want to use more or less sugar, depending on how sweet you would like your pie to be, and how sweet your cherries are.
- Pie dough for top and bottom 9 or 10-inch pie (see pie crust recipe)
- 5 cups sweet cherries, pitted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 4 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons of butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg
- Coarse sugar for sprinkling
1 Toss cherries with sugar, almond extract, lemon juice, cornstarch: Place the pitted cherries, sugar, almond extract, lemon juice and cornstarch in a large bowl. Toss until the cherries are well coated with the sugar and other ingredients.
2 Roll out bottom crust: On a lightly floured clean surface, roll out the bottom crust. Form it into a 9 or 10-inch pie pan. Using kitchen scissors, trim the edges so that they extend beyond the edge of the pie pan by 1 inch. Place in the refrigerator while you roll out the top crust.
3 Roll out top crust: Roll out the top crust to about the same size as the bottom crust. If you want to make a lattice top (it's pretty and it's easy to do) follow these instructions for making a lattice pie crust.
4 Place filling in pie, dot with butter, top with top crust, chill: Use a slotted spoon to lift the cherries out of the bowl and put them in the pie plate. (Leave any excess liquid behind.) Dot with small dabs of butter. Cover with the top crust. Trim the edges. Crimp to seal the edges together.
Score the top crust with several cuts so that the steam can escape while the pie is cooking (unnecessary if you are making a lattice crust).
Refrigerate for 30 minutes before cooking.
5 Brush with egg wash (optional): In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water or milk. Use a pastry brush to brush over the top crust. Sprinkle the top with coarse sugar.
6 Bake: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the pie in the middle rack, with a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any pie drippings.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temp to 350°F and cook for 45 to 55 minutes longer, or until the crust is nicely browned and the filling is thick and bubbly.
Allow to cool completely before serving.