Cherry pies are known for being tart, sweet, and full of juicy goodness. We used freshly-picked tart cherries, but since they’re only in season for a short amount of time, you can always buy frozen tart cherries. You can also use sweet cherries, but lower the sugar to 3/4 cup and add a bit more lemon juice for that nice tart flavor.
- For the Pie Crust:
- 1/3 cup cold unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup cold shortening (diced)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup cold water
- For the Filling:
- 7 to 8 cups fresh whole tart cherries (or 6 cups frozen)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar (divided)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon butter (diced)
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this pie is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.
Prepare the Crust
Gather the ingredients.
Grate the butter with a cheese grater into a bowl. Add the shortening, flour, and salt.
Cut the butter and shortening into the flour with a pastry blender until the fat is dispersed throughout the flour. The butter and shortening should all be pea to bean-sized pieces.
Add the water a little at a time until you have a rough dough.
Form the dough into two balls and flatten. Wrap one in plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
Roll one ball of dough into a round that's about 1/8-inch thick and 12 inches across.
Fit pie crust into a 9-inch pie dish. Press the dough all the way down and allow some of the dough to hang over the edge of the pie tin. Set aside. If your kitchen is warm, place the lined pie pan in the fridge.
Prepare the Filling
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Pit the cherries using a cherry pitter for the fastest results. Thaw the cherries if you are using frozen.
Thoroughly drain the cherries once you are done pitting or thawing. Then combine them in a large bowl with 3/4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Stir to combine, and taste. Add more sugar (up to 1 1/4 cups) if necessary and stir to combine.
Fill the bottom pie shell with the cherry mixture and dot the top with the diced butter.
Roll out the other pie dough circle into a 10-inch circle. Cut the circle into 1-inch strips.
Lay four of the strips over the filling in the same direction.
Fold alternating strips over themselves halfway and place another strip in the center of the pie to create the lattice design.
Fold the strips back over the center strip. Repeat alternating which strips you fold back.
Repeat on the other side of the pie.
Crimp the edges of the pie crust together, trimming as needed and sealing.
Sprinkle the top of the pie with granulated sugar.
Transfer the pie to the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and flaky and the filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before slicing.
- It’s really important to have cold ingredients for your pie crust. This will help keep the butter from melting when you form the crust. The pieces of butter and shortening are what help keep the crust flaky.
- We use a mix of butter and shortening because butter provides great flavor in the crust and the shortening helps keep it workable and flaky once it’s been baked.