recipe

Homemade Cherry Pie: the Easy Recipe for a Delicious Homemade Dessert During Your Spring

Total time: 1h30min. / + resting time
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
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Homemade Cherry Pie might be one of the all-time best spring and summer desserts out there, especially when made with ripe, in-season cherries. With its tender, flaky, buttery crust and sweet, juicy cherry filling, there's nothing like sinking your fork into a slice of freshly baked cherry pie topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The heart-shaped cutout pie crust makes this Homemade Cherry Pie recipe a delight to look at as well as to eat. Homemade Cherry Pie is incredibly easy to make and tastes fantastic. It's the perfect summer dessert to serve up at barbecues, picnics, and potlucks and will definitely impress your friends and family.

What is Cherry Pie?

Cherry pie is a classic American dessert that features a buttery, flaky crust enveloping a rich, tart cherry filling. The pie is often made from tart red cherries like the Montmorency variety, mixed with sugar and a thickening agent, such as cornstarch, to create a deliciously gooey center. Traditionally, cherry pie is served with a lattice crust on top, allowing the vibrant red filling to peek through, making it as visually appealing as it is tasty.

The history of cherry pie in America is intertwined with the celebration of American culture and agricultural bounty. Cherries were brought to America by English settlers in the 1600s, and cherry pie quickly became a beloved treat. The pie gained iconic status in the early 20th century, often associated with the idyllic American life. Cherry pie is particularly celebrated in the state of Michigan, known for its abundant cherry orchards, and it is a staple during the cherry harvest season and on holidays like Presidents' Day and the Fourth of July, symbolizing Americana and festive cheer.

What Are the Best Cherries for Homemade Cherry Pie?

Either sweet cherries or tart will work for the filling. Look for Bing or Rainier. For sour cherries, opt for Morello or Amarelle. Fresh cherries are the best choice in terms of flavor and texture, but if you're in a pinch, frozen cherries will do.

If you use frozen cherries, let them thaw out, then discard any juice so your pie doesn't wind up soggy.

Can I Use Canned Cherries, Instead?

Yes, you can use canned cherries instead of fresh ones for making cherry pie. However, it's important to drain the cherries well to remove excess liquid that could make the pie filling too runny. You might also want to adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe, depending on whether the canned cherries are packed in syrup or water, as cherries in syrup are already sweetened.

Why is My Homemade Cherry Pie Runny?

If your cherry pie is runny, it's likely due to the filling not being thickened properly. If the pie is still runny, possible reasons include not cooking the cherry filling long enough to activate the cornstarch fully, not using enough cornstarch, or the filling not cooling enough before serving, which helps it set. Also, ensure that any juice from the cherries (especially if using canned or very juicy fresh cherries) is adequately accounted for or reduced before adding to the crust.

How to Pit Cherries Without a Cherry Pitter

While a cherry pitter is the fastest, most efficient way to pit cherries, not everyone has one. To remove cherry pits without a cherry pitter, take the stem off the cherry. Insert a straw or chopstick into the space where the stem was, then push until the cherry pit comes out. It's that simple!

You can also slice the cherries with a knife, twist the halves apart to separate them, then manually remove the pit, but this is messier and more time-consuming.

Tips for Making the Best Homemade Cherry Pie

  • The type of cherries can significantly impact the flavor of your pie. If potted cherries are sweet, you might want to adjust the sugar to avoid an overly sweet filling. Conversely, if they’re tart, the specified sugar amount should be perfect. Always taste your cherries before using them!
  • For the flakiest crust, ensure that your butter, shortening, and water are very cold. This prevents the fat from melting before baking, which helps to create those desirable, flaky layers in the crust.
  • When mixing the dough, work quickly and handle it as little as possible. Overworking the dough can develop the gluten in the flour, leading to a tough crust instead of a tender, flaky one.
  • Chilling the dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out helps relax the gluten and solidifies the fat, which enhances the texture of the baked crust. You can even chill the dough overnight for convenience and to ensure it's sufficiently firm.
  • To prevent a soggy bottom, make sure the cherry filling is thickened adequately before adding it to the crust. Cooking the filling as described helps evaporate some of the juices and concentrate the flavors, besides ensuring the cornstarch is fully activated.
  • Baking the bottom crust alone for a few minutes, as described, is crucial. This process, known as blind baking, helps to seal the crust and prevent it from becoming soggy once the filling is added.
  • Utilizing the remaining dough to cut out shapes like hearts not only adds a charming touch but allows steam to escape, which is essential for preventing the filling from bubbling over. Alternatively, a lattice top also serves this purpose and is a classic choice for cherry pie.
  • Every oven is different, so keep an eye on your pie as it bakes. If the edges of the crust begin to brown too quickly, cover them with foil or a pie shield to prevent burning.
  • Allow the pie to cool for several hours before slicing to give the filling time to set. This patience pays off with clean cuts that showcase your beautifully layered cherry pie.

More Cherry Recipes You're Going to Love

Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry Crumble Cake

Cherry Pound Cake

Cherry Upside-Down Cake

How to Store Homemade Cherry Pie

To store the Homemade Cherry Pie let it cool completely at room temperature first. Then, you can keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to four days. For longer storage, cherry pie freezes well. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place it in a freezer-safe container. It can be frozen for up to two months. To serve, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat it in the oven at 350°F until warm. This helps the crust regain some of its original crispness.

Ingredients

For the pastry
All-purpose flour
315 grams
salt
a pinch
Cold butter
80 grams
Vegetable shortening
90 grams
Cold Water
120 ml
For the filling
Pitted cherries
750 grams
Sugar
150 grams
Cornstarch
7 grams
Butter
30 grams
Cinnamon
1/2 tsp

How to Make Homemade Cherry Pie

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Mix the flour with salt. Add the cold butter and the vegetable shortening, and break everything up with your fingers until crumbs start to form.

Add cold cater, and knead the pastry – first with a fork and then with your hands – until it comes together.

Chill the obtained crust for at least 30 minutes.

In a pot, add the pitted cherries, the cinnamon, sugar and butter and cook them for 5 minutes.

Add the cornstarch, dissolved in some cold water and keep cooking until the filling starts to thicken.

Roll two thirds of the pastry and place the disk into a pie pan, pricking it with your fork to form a lot of tiny dots. Blind-bake it for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, roll the remaining pastry and cut out small hearts.

Take the crust out and pour in the cherry filling.

Place the top pastry sheet over the filling.

Layer the crust hearts around the crust. Bake for another 30 minutes.

Take the pie out and let it cool completely before serving it and cutting slices.

Enjoy!

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