5 from 3 votes

Sour Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie zb 09

The key to success with this sweet, but not too sweet, cherry pie is to use sour cherries. Combined with just enough sugar and a pinch of black pepper, to mellow their pucker, the sour cherries add a tart balance that goes perfectly with the rich, buttery crust. If you don’t have access to fresh cherries the frozen variety work just as well in this sour cherry pie and are available all year round, just in case you get a craving for this ruby colored pie in the dead of winter.

How to Make Sour Cherry Pie

See me make the pie step by step below, then head to the bottom of this post for the full recipe!

Makes: 12-inch double crusted pie

To make the pie crust:

blueberry pie | ZoeBakes

Have all of your ingredients ready and chilled. If it is hot out I even put the flour in the freezer for a little while, which makes it easier to work with.

Combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter.

Use a pastry cutter or your hands to work the butter into the flour, until it looks like cornmeal and starts to stick together when squeezed. You want to keep some of the butter in pea-sized pieces. If the butter is too soft and it won’t stay in pieces, place the bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes and then try again.

pie dough zb 02

Mix together the water and vodka and add to the flour/butter mixture.

Stir this with your hand or a wooden spoon, but be very gentle. The goal is to keep the pea-sized chunks of butter in tact.

When most of the flour is coming together, gently knead the dough into a ball. It should not be perfectly smooth,

but, it should also not seem dry or crumbly.

pie dough zb 03

Divide the dough into two pieces and create round disks. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.

pie dough zb 04

To roll out the pie crust:

When you are ready to prepare the pie, roll one of the disks out on a well floured surface. If the dough seems hard, let it sit at room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will prevent the edges from cracking too much. You still want the dough to be chilled, so the butter doesn’t get too soft.

As you are rolling, you can round out the edges with your hands. Cracking edges are part of the beast, but this will help to keep them smoother.

Once you have it rolled out to about 1/8-inch thick round, measure the dough to make sure it will fit the 12-inch pie plate. I usually just hold the plate over the dough and eye it. There should be about 2-inches of extra dough beyond the bottom of the plate.

pie dough zb 05

Fold the dough over the rolling-pin to lift it.

pie dough zb 06

Lift it over the plate and gently fit the crust into the plate. Do NOT trim the edges yet. Set the crust in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Preheat the oven to 425°F, with the rack at the bottom 1/3 of the oven.

To prepare the filling:

If using fresh cherries, toss them with the sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, black pepper and zests.

If using frozen berries:

Cherry Pie zb 01

Defrost the berries and drain the juices into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Cherry Pie zb 02

Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl then add to the cherry juice. Cook until the juice is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter. Add the cherries back into the thickened juice and allow to cool slightly.

Cherry Pie | ZoeBakes

Once the filling is cooled pour it into the pie shell. Roll out the second disk of dough and drape it over the cherry filling. Poke a hole in the top to allow steam to escape during baking.

Cherry Pie zb 10

Bake for 20 minutes then lower the temperature to 400°F and continue baking for another 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Cherry Pie | ZoeBakes

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. If there’s any left it makes a perfect breakfast the next morning.

Sour Cherry Pie

Sour Cherry Pie

The key to success with this sweet, but not too sweet, pie is to use sour cherries. Combined with just enough sugar and a pinch of black pepper, the sour cherries add a tart balance that goes perfectly with the rich, buttery crust.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour
Course: Dessert, pie
Cuisine: Desserts

Ingredients

Butter Pie Crust

  • 3 cups 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter cut into small pieces and well chilled
  • 1/2 cup ice water more may be needed
  • 1 tbsp vodka or lemon juice

Cherry Filling

  • 10 cups sour cherries, fresh or frozen stemmed and pitted if using fresh
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • egg wash 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

Pie Crust

  • Have all of your ingredients ready and chilled. If it is hot out I even put the flour in the freezer for a little while, which makes it easier to work with.
  • Combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to work the butter into the flour, until it looks like cornmeal and starts to stick together when squeezed. You want to keep some of the butter in pea-sized pieces. If the butter is too soft and it won't stay in pieces, place the bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes and then try again.
  • Mix together the water and vodka and add to the flour/butter mixture. Stir this with your hand or a wooden spoon, but be very gentle. The goal is to keep the pea-sized chunks of butter in tact. When most of the flour is coming together, gently knead the dough into a ball. It should not be perfectly smooth, but, it should also not seem dry or crumbly.
  • Divide the dough into two pieces and create round disks. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.

To Roll Out the Pie Crust

  • When you are ready to prepare the pie, roll one of the disks out on a well floured surface. If the dough seems hard, let it sit at room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will prevent the edges from cracking too much. You still want the dough to be chilled, so the butter doesn't get too soft.
  • As you are rolling, you can round out the edges with your hands. Cracking edges are part of the beast, but this will help to keep them smoother.
  • Once you have it rolled out to about 1/8-inch thick round, measure the dough to make sure it will fit the 12-inch pie plate. I usually just hold the plate over the dough and eye it. There should be about 2-inches of extra dough beyond the bottom of the plate.
  • Fold the dough over the rolling-pin to lift it. Lift it over the plate and gently fit the crust into the plate. Do NOT trim the edges yet. Set the crust in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling. Preheat the oven to 425°F, with the rack at the bottom 1/3 of the oven.

Cherry Filling

  • If using fresh cherries: toss them with the sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, black pepper and zests. Pour into pie shell.
  • If using frozen cherries: Defrost the cherries and drain the juices into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl then add to the cherry juice. Cook until the juice is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter. Add the cherries back into the thickened juice and allow to cool slightly. Once the filling is cooled pour it into the pie shell.
  • Roll out the second disk of dough and drape it over the cherry filling. Brush with egg wash. Poke a hole in the top to allow steam to escape during baking.
  • Bake for 20 minutes then lower the temperature to 400°F and continue baking for another 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. If there's any left it makes a perfect breakfast the next morning.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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2 thoughts to “Sour Cherry Pie”

  1. 5 stars
    What do you do with the 4 tablespoons of butter you have listed in the pie filling ingredients?

    1. Hi Susanne! Thank you for pointing out that this step is missing. The butter gets stirred into the filling after it thickens. I have updated the recipe to reflect this. Cheers!

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