Why I love this cherry pie recipe
Cherry pie had never been my thing until we went to Door County for the weekend a few years and had some as dessert with our fish boil.
It turns out, the majority of the cherries grown in Door County, Wisconsin – which is about an hour north of us – are Montmorency cherries, and that means they’re sour.
The combination of the tart cherry flavor combined with the sweetness of the sugar in the homemade filling makes for an amazing pie. Add some flaky vegan pie crust, and you have a perfect dairy free dessert.
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Here’s what you’ll need to make it
Ingredient note: for this recipe I used cherries from this orchard that I found in my grocer’s freezer section. If you can’t find Door County cherries near you, feel free to swap them out for another type of sour or tart cherries. You can also use sweet cherries if you want.
How to make sour cherry pie
Make the crust. Combine flour, sugar, salt and chilled shortening in a food processor. Process until a crumb forms and then slowly pour in 1/4 – 1/2 cup of ice water until a dough forms.
Divide the dough into two equal balls and flatten into discs. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Make the filling. Combine the filling ingredients in a large saucepan. Heat over medium until a sauce begins to form. Continue cooking, stirring until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Assemble the pie. Roll out 1 of the pie crusts and line your pie plate. Add the filling, leaving out any excess liquid.
There should be some sauce, but since the cherries may vary in water content, you might not want to use all the sauce. Use your best judgment and see the photo above.
Top with a second pie crust. You can do a lattice crust if you want, but it’s not necessary. Seal the edges and cut a few holes to vent the steam. You can use a knife, a fork or a small cookie cutter, whatever you feel like doing.
Bake the pie. Brush the top crust with an egg wash (or vegan substitute) and pop your pie into the oven at 375˚F oven for 45 – 55 minutes.
The pie should be bubbling and the crust will be golden brown when it’s ready.
Let the pie rest. Remove it from the oven and let it sit until it reaches room temperature. This step is important to achieving a pie that doesn’t flop when you slice it. It gives the cornstarch and the pectin in the fruit time to set.
I know it can be hard to wait, but it’s worth it. I promise. If you want, feel free to warm the pie before serving.
FAQs and tips for making the best cherry pie
You can keep a crust from getting soggy by doing a few things. First, make sure you’re not rolling it to thick or too thin. Second, switch to a metal pie plate to get a better cook. Third, you can bake your pie on a lower rack to get the bottom crust crisper. Lastly, make sure you’re properly venting your top crust to allow steam to escape.
No. Cherry pie doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but it will only last about 2 days at room temperature (properly covered). To extend the life of the pie, place it in the fridge for 3 – 5 days.
Sour or tart cherries, such as Montmorency cherries, are the best for pie because their flavor balance the sweetness of the sugar in cherry pie filling. To make this recipe easier, I’ve used frozen pitted cherries, but you can also use fresh pitted sour cherries.
While I haven’t tested this recipe with canned cherries, you should easily be able to use canned cherries instead of fresh or frozen, just make sure you drain and rinse off any liquid that they might be stored in.
A properly stored, baked cherry pie should last in the fridge for about 5 days. Always use your best judgment before consuming anything.
More pie recipes:
More recipes to enjoy this summer:
- Roasted potato salad
- Instant pot baked beans
- Rose sangria
- Easy broccoli salad with grapes
- Spicy cucumber salad
This easy, Door Country sour cherry pie recipe features homemade cherry filling between flaky, vegan pie crusts. Make it from scratch with frozen cherries, or fresh ones. Either way, you’ll never use canned filling again.
2 pie crusts (store-bought or homemade)
1 egg (or vegan egg wash alternative)
Sour cherry pie filling:
5 – 6 cups frozen tart cherries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 almond extract
Add the remaining ingredients to a large saucepan and stir to combine. Heat over medium, until cherries thaw and a thick sauce forms (juice will thicken as it the cornstarch cooks).
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 375˚F and prepare the pie crust according to package or recipe directions.
Place bottom pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate and fill with sour cherry pie filling.
Top with second pie crust and piece to create a vent for steam, or slice the top crust using a pastry cutter and arrange in a lattice pattern on top of pie. Roll the crust edges together and crimp until sealed.
Whisk egg with 2 tablespoons water and brush onto top crust.
Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, or until pie crust is golden brown in color.
Keywords: dairy free, cherry, pie, fruit
Last Updated on December 14, 2020 by Melissa Belanger