Updated from the archives. This was one of the first recipes I posted, back in 2008! I photographed it in artificial lighting on a cloudy day with my point-and-shoot camera, and it was dreadful. Scroll all the way down to the end of the post for the original photograph. Yeesh.
True story: I hated cherry pie until I was in college. Why? Two words: canned filling. Turns out that I’d only ever tried pre-made pie fillings. Lame.
Thankfully, my uncle Sam (who is a culinary genius of All The Things) changed my mind about cherry pie. He and my aunt Amy have perfected cherry pie and crust. So much so that I asked them to bake a whole lot of pies for my wedding reception. And they did. And they were magnificent. (Sam and Amy, I still feel awful about the amount of work that took. Sorry forever!)
So now, I’d like to ask you a big favor: don’t ever waste your life on pre-made filling again.
This is our favorite cherry pie, hands down. The combination of dried cherries and canned or frozen cherries makes for a great flavor and texture. Paired with a flaky crust (regular or gluten free), and a scoop of whatever vanilla ice cream you fancy, this makes for an amazing pie. It’s been Michael’s birthday or Father’s Day treat of choice for years, and probably will be for many years more.
Feel free to top it any way you like–a plain top crust, a lattice crust, or you can cut out shapes like we did here and layer them all over the top. Be sure not to skip the turbinado sugar! It makes for the most delicious crunch!Print
I’ve written in some whole food substitutions in the recipe notes. These days, I use the whole food subs more often than not.
- 1 double pie crust, regular or gluten free
- 2 (14.5oz) cans pitted red tart cherries packed in water, drained, reserving 3/4c cherry liquid**
- 1/2c dried tart cherries
- 4 Tbsp cornstarch**
- 1/2c sugar**
- 1 Tbsp butter (optional)
- 1 tsp almond extract
- optional: egg wash (1 egg + 1 Tbsp milk or water), coarse sugar (known as turbinado or sugar in the raw)
- In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch and 1/2c sugar. Stir in reserved cherry liquid. Stirring constantly with a whisk, bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 1 minute while mixture thickens, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter and almond extract. Fold in all cherries.
- Pour filling into prepared pie shell. Cover with top crust, doing a lattice if you feel fancy.
- Brush the top of the crust with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or till golden.
- Allow pie to completely cool before serving for best results. This will take several hours, but will allow the filling to set properly.
Whole food substitutions:
2 Tbsp arrowroot powder in place of the 4 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp honey in place of the 1/2 cup sugar
3 cups frozen tart cherries, thawed
3/4 cup water in place of the canned cherry water
Psst! This is the original awful photo. Awful, awful. If I ever feel like my photography isn’t getting any better, I just need to look back at 2008. Oy.