Cherry Pie (the revival!)

The first recipe I ever posted to this site was one for sour cherry pie. It remains one of my favorite recipes and probably one of the least viewed posts ever. Not even one little comment! I was writing to myself back then before I had all of you wonderful people to share recipes with.

One of the strange parts of maintaining a food blog is trying to balance the desire and need to try new recipes and my love of old favorites. So, you’re going to need to bear with me today as we go back into the archives. This recipe for sour cherry pie is worth resurrecting and making with whatever sour cherries are still floating around out there. It is incredibly delicious and made even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Some other recipes from the early days that are worth checking out (also, note how much better my photos have become over the years!): Walnut Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies, Tomato Soup, and my personal summer favorite- pickles!

Lots of fun stuff headed your way next week including the next stop on the road trip (hint: cheese) and some summer acquisitions.

Sour Cherry Pie (adapted from a recipe in June 2008 Bon Appétit)


  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 5 tablespoons ice water


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups whole pitted sour cherries
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon milk


Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl to blend. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until small pea-size clumps form. Add 5 tablespoons ice water; mix lightly with fork until dough holds together when small pieces are pressed between fingertips, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough together; divide into two pieces. Form each piece into a ball, then flatten into disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Can be made up to two days ahead. Keep chilled. Let soften slightly before rolling out.


Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 425° F. Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Stir in cherries, lemon juice, and vanilla. Set aside.

Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch glass pie dish. Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch. Roll out second dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Using large knife or pastry wheel with fluted edge, cut ten 3/4-inch wide strips from dough round. Transfer filling to dough-lined dish, mounding slightly in center. Dot with butter. Arrange dough strips atop filling, forming lattice; trim dough strip overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold bottom crust up over ends of strips and crimp edges to seal. Brush lattice crust (not edges) with milk. Sprinkle lattice with 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Place pie on rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375°. Bake pie until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, covering edges with foil collar if browning too quickly, about 1 hour longer. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely. Cut into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream.

30 comments to “Cherry Pie (the revival!)”

  1. A perfect summer pie – we would probably request 2 scoops of ice cream…naturally. And we’re already excited for next week’s cheese-centric post (Wisconsin? Pretty please?).

  2. Thank you for posting this! It seems like sour cherry pies are making a comeback this summer, which I am all too thankful for! My grandma’s version of the recipe is nearly identical, which just goes to show that this pie has needed few improvements over the past six decades!

  3. I absolutely love all sorts of cherries but I still haven’t made a pie. All that pitting deters me. I know, they have cherry pitter devices, but still seems like a lot of work.

  4. My friend made one of the best cherry pies I’ve ever had, so I’m excited to try this and see if I can raise the glass ceiling! Looks delicious:)

  5. This is my favorite dessert – bar none. Grew up in Indiana and our neighbor had a sour cherry tree and would let us pick it clean. Can’t put in words how good they were. But now I live in CA and have a hard time finding fresh sour cherries. Sadness.

    Recipe note: My mom always put in a drop or two of almond extract in the cherries instead of vanilla – really brings out the cherry flavor.

  6. Yay! I chose Cherry Pie over Apple every time as a kid! (those were the 2 staples on my Grandma’s table). I love your rustic lattice work – perfection :-)
    Thank you for reminding us about this wonderful treat.

  7. I am in love with sour cherries now. Next year when I can get my hands on a tree. I am going to try this recipe. I just made some sour cherry jam. It’s my favorite now! Thanks for sharing. -Tien

  8. Absolutely no cherries here in the Caribbean but it is nice to look and and dream:-) It’s also nice to see how we progress as photographers by looking at past pics

  9. I’m currently making a blueberry pie but I need to buy up some sour cherries from Seedling before they are gone!

  10. Classic! A good way to start the weekend and make everyone smile!

  11. I’m inspired. I have sour cherries in my freezer and will make them today!

  12. Mmmm! Cherry Pie!
    I know the feeling of writing to yourself. I just started my blog and I have 1 comment. I know that it takes time, but it is just the excitement of getting those comments and questions. Plus they lead to conversations and eventually new found friends.

  13. Just found your blog last week!! Sour cherry pie is my FAVORITE pie. Unfortunately, here in NW Indiana, I have no access to sour cherries. Although some people grow these in their yards, they have no idea what they are missing and fail to spray the trees before the worms find them. I have no local stores that carry them; thus, I am always longing for some pie!!

  14. great looking pie! i so wanted to pic some up at GCM last weekend but i ran outta time. i might wander over to the MCA’s market tomorrow over lunch and whip up something cherry-esque.

  15. I thank you for going back to old recipes. It’s worth it for both new and old readers. What a great looking pie!

  16. I’ve been making this recipe for the past few years and it’s the best. For those worried about the work–sour cherries are MUCH EASIER to pit than sweet/bing cherries. Actually, I wash my hands thoroughly and pop out the pit with my fingernail–no special equipment required!

    The only thing I’ve found with this recipe is that I think 6 cups of cherries are even better!

  17. I also make the crust in a food processor. Just add the water very slowly, as it may take much less than 5 tbl–sometimes only 3 until the ball comes together.

  18. Tim I just want to say that since stumbling across your site I have made the Doughnut Muffins and I posted photos of them on my Facebook and I think I have given your site address to about 15 people! I Love Your site!

  19. Ah, those elusive sour cherries! I must get my hands on some one of these days and then I’ll definitely be making this pie.

  20. I read this post yesterday, and it broke my heart because I have been searching for sour cherries for 3 weeks. However, today I hit the mother lode of late season morello cherries that they weren’t even supposed to get today! Question – how did you pit them so well? What is the best way to pit my 6 quarts and $26 worth of sour cherries to make 4.8 pies? Should I get a cherry pitter?

  21. Hi Angel,
    I love my cherry pitter and would highly recommend investing in one but if you google around you’ll find DIY techniques, like using paper clips. Enjoy your cherries!

  22. It’s settled then, I will need to purchase some cherries!

  23. Thanks for the post. Love pies, in all shapes sizes and flavors. Love to bake but the thought of making a pie scares me to death.

  24. I cannot even get sour cherries here in CA, not even frozen ones in high end stores. I miss them so much having grown up in Europe where they are the normal pie and cake cherry. I have asked at stores/markets many times, but just get blank looks. I think I need to move north to have any chance of tasting these again.

  25. i have a sour cherry tree in my front yard. gotta say that i love it. If i’m lucky enough to get to it before the robins do i put them to good use and what i can’t use i freeze for our long winters. my recipe for sour cherry pie is very similar, but instead of vanilla extract i use almond extract..
    give it a whirl sometime you might like it.

  26. I can’t believe how beautiful this pie is! fab.

  27. Hi there – I made the orange loaf you posted yesterday and I was trolling the site when I came upon this. I don’t know if you see new comments on old posts but I wanted to let you know that if I had access to sour cherries (in the summer) that I would make this in a heartbeat. I live in Virginia now. I’m originally from Chicago – like you – and I spent a lot of time in Wisconsin. Sour cherry pie is my favorite, not just because I love it, but because it brings back such fun memories. Thanks for all your great posts. (Oh, and I’ liked the orange cake too.)

  28. I heart this recipe. I picked up a couple of varieties of sour cherries at GCM yesterday and am making this tomorrow along with Pete Wells’ pickled cherries. Can’t wait!

  29. I made this pie on Thursday for the US vs Germany game, I used sour cherries from my friend’s backyard. I live in Germany and my friends have never taste “pie” before, it was delicious, and one person compared my crust (made using a pastry cutter) to being similar to puff pastry :). it was a delicious pie, eaten with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. i can’t wait to get my hands on the sour cherries again!

  30. In spite of the fact that it is my favourite dessert, this is the first sour cherry pie I have ever made. Fantastic recipe that did those precious farmer’s market cherries justice. Making it myself was such a thrill! Many thanks!

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