Saturday, June 10, 2023

How to make a perfect cherry pie

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Cherry pie is one of those classics that you don’t want to mess around with or tweak too much. Why? Because when a classic is changed too much then it can sometimes be unrecognizable which can, therefore, destroy the integrity of the original recipe. So, without further ado, I am ready to teach you how to make a perfect cherry pie.

cherry pie

Classic sour cherry pie with a lattice crust


The first step to making any recipe is gathering the required ingredients. The following lists include the ingredients needed to make the pie crust from scratch, and the cherry filling from scratch. Read through and make sure you have every ingredient before you begin. If you are missing an ingredient then start a grocery list and hit the store.


  • 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 (or more) ice water


  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups whole pitted sour cherries or dark sweet cherries (about 2 pounds whole unpitted cherries)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (if using sour cherries) or 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (if using dark sweet cherries)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon (about) milk
  • Vanilla ice cream
cherry pie
Can I substitute ingredients?

As a personal rule of thumb, I like to make a recipe as directed the first time through. Once it’s made I can taste it and write down any substitutions or adjustments that I would like to make. Then, I try it with my noted changes. Rinse and repeat.

The most common ingredients and their substitutions include:

  1. Butter for margarine
  2. All-purpose flour for almond flour
  3. Honey for sugar
Instagram Post 1080x1080 px 10

For crust:

  1. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until small pea-size clumps form. Add 5 tablespoons of ice water; mix lightly with a fork until dough holds together when small pieces are pressed between fingertips, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if the dough is dry. Gather dough together; divide into 2 pieces. Form each piece into a ball, then flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Do ahead Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly before rolling out.

For filling:

  1. Position rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425°F. Whisk 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Stir in cherries, lemon juice, and vanilla; set aside.
  2. Roll out 1 dough disk on a floured surface to a 12-inch round. Transfer to a 9-inch glass pie dish. Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch. Roll out the second dough disk on a floured surface to a 12-inch round. Using a large knife or pastry wheel with a fluted edge, cut ten 3/4-inch-wide strips from the 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 remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
  3. Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. 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.

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