Tart (a.k.a. pie or sour) cherries are a micro-seasonal stonefruit and the key ingredient to one of the best pies you will ever eat! This recipe addresses runny pie problems by macerating cherries in the sugar and bourbon and reducing the cherry juices, although you can skip this step if you don't mind a juicy pie. Not a bourbon fan? Replace it with two teaspoons of vanilla extract.
Prep Time: 1h
Cook Time: 1h plus cooling
One recipe flaky pie crust
2 quarts pitted tart cherries (about 6 cups after pitting)
1 1/2 cups plus one tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup quick cooking tapioca (ground to a powder in a clean spice grinder and measured afterward) or 3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold butter, cubed
1 lightly beaten egg
- Combine pitted cherries, 1½ cups sugar, salt, bourbon and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Drain the liquid, set cherries aside, and bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Lower heat and simmer until reduced by half. Return liquid to cherries and let cool. Add tapioca pearls or cornstarch and mix to combine.
- Roll out one crust. Line a metal 9” pie tin with one of the crusts, leaving ½ inch overhang and put in the refrigerator. Roll out second crust, and cut into strips if making a lattice top and put in the refrigerator.
- Remove lined pie tin add the filling, top with cubed butter, and weave the lattice on top. If you find that the strips are difficult to handle and melting, return the pie and remaining strips to the fridge for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once lattice is woven, trim the excess off the strips, turn the ½ overhang over the strip ends, and crimp.
- Brush top (but not the crimped edges) with beaten egg and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Place pie tin in the freezer for 30 minutes (if using a glass pie dish, put in the refrigerator instead).
- While the pie is resting, preheat oven to 400˚F and put a cookie sheet lined with foil on lowest rack.
- After the pie is done resting, place the pie in the oven, lower heat to 375˚F, and bake for one hour, rotating after 30 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden. If using a metal pie pan, place directly on the cookie sheet. If using glass pie dish, place on the rack directly above the cookie sheet, which will catch any juices.
- The pie should cool for at least one hour if not a few to set.
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