This is a delightful recipe for sour cherry pie, crafted with fresh sour cherries and encased in a simple pate brissee crust. It's a versatile dish that can be prepared throughout the year, particularly if you have frozen sour cherries at your disposal.
A Classic Summer Dessert
I have to say that the pictures do not do justice to this pie. I took this pie out of the oven, and the juices were all over the place. Sorry about that, people!
However, the taste is exactly how it should be, and I am proud of my mess. It is perfect for summer days, so I decided to make the recipe for a visit to my family.
You can make this tart with fresh sour cherries that will need to be pitted or with frozen sour cherries that are already cleaned.
I never used cans of tart cherries, so I am not sure how they would work in this recipe.
The recipe of the pie crust is a classic pate brisee that is versatile and can be used in any pie recipe, no matter if these recipes are savory or sweet.
What is pate brisee?
Pate brisee is the French name for any shortcrust pie dough that is made with butter.
It is a good crust to make for all kinds of recipes, from savory to sweet, and can last in the fridge for about three days or in the freezer for about three months.
It is always a good idea to make extra dough and freeze it for emergencies.
What are tart cherries or sour cherries?
Tart cherries or sour cherries are from the same family as cherries, and they are very popular in Europe and Asia.
Tart cherries are usually a little bit smaller than the regular cherries and ...well..tart, or more acidic, so for this matter, a good amount of sugar goes into the pie filling.
I have to tell you that living in Minnesota, I never had access to fresh sour cherries or even frozen, but right now, since we moved overseas, this little humble fruit is more available, which helps me take advantage of it.
Tart cherries are used in desserts, like cakes, pies, or syrups, but also in soups or pork dishes.
In Eastern Europe, people also make a liqueur, out of these sour cherries, that is made with sugar and alcohol. Very good, if you ask me.
For the crust:
- all-purpose flour
- very cold unsalted butter
- very cold water
For the filling:
- sour cherries
- all-purpose flour or cornstarch
- unsalted butter
How to make the sour cherry pie
In a food processor: I like making pie crust in the food processor, as the process is straightforward forward, and I never ran into problems with the crust.
Start with the ingredients. The butter has to be super cold, directly from the fridge. Cut it into small little cubes.
Mix flour with salt together.
Place everything in the food processor. Pulse a few times until you obtain a mixture that resembles sand or bread crumbs. Do not overmix.
Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture holds together.
It should look something like this:
Divide the dough into two parts, then shape each half into a disk.
Wrap each half in plastic foil and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or up to 1 day. (You can skip this part if you are in a hurry)
How to make the sour cherry filling
Place the sour cherries pitted in a bowl. If you use frozen fruit, make sure you drain it and thaw it well before you use it.
If you skip this step, you will end up with a pie like mine that is extremely juicy.
Mix sugar, salt, and flour (or cornstarch) together.
Add the mixture to the fruit. If you want to add some vanilla or almond flavor, this is the time to do it.
Mix everything together.
Tip: You can swap flour for cornstarch if you want.
How to assemble the pie
This is the time to preheat the oven to 375F.
Roll out one piece of dough on floured board to a 12-inch size.
This will fit in a 9 inch pan.
Add the cherry mixture.
Top the filling with little pieces of butter. Place the pie in the fridge while you work on the top of the pie.
Roll out the other dough disk to a 9-10 inch size.
Using a cookie cutter or a pastry tip, make a few holes in the pastry using the shapes you like.
I used the leftover dough to make leaves and decorate the edges of the pie.
Take the pie out of the fridge and cover it with the top. Press together both layers of crust to seal around the edges.
Fold edges under and crimp as desired, or decorate with leftover dough.
Brush the crust with egg wash.
Bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours or until the pie is golden brown on top and bubbling.
You might need to put some foil underneath the pie dish to avoid cleaning the oven, as the juices of the pie might come out during baking.
Allow the pie to cool down on a wire rack, then serve it at room temperature.
Yes, please, do not stop yourself to enjoy a good pie just because you do not have sour cherries.
One piece of advice, though, is to cut the sugar in the recipe, as cherries are naturally sweeter than tart cherries, and they do not need a lot of sugar. Instead of using 1 ½ cups of sugar, use only 1 cup.
Yes, you can use a store-bought pie crust if you're short on time. However, homemade pâte brisée has a unique, flaky texture that's hard to match with store-bought versions.
This pie is delicious on its own, but it's also great served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
Yes, you can replace the sour cherries with other fruits like blueberries, apples, or peaches. Just keep in mind that the cooking time and sugar content may need to be adjusted depending on the fruit.
After the pie has completely cooled, you can store it in the refrigerator. Cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.
The pie will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. To serve, you can enjoy it cold, let it come to room temperature, or warm it slightly in the oven.
Unbaked pie: You can prepare the pie and freeze it uncooked. Just wrap it in aluminum foil and place it in the freezer.
It could last about three months in the freezer if it is stored properly. You can bake it normally when you decide to use it. Do not thaw before.
Baked pie: Freeze the pie after you bake it. It could last more in the freezer if it is baked, but the quality of the pie will decrease over time.
More recipes to love
Fresh Sour Cherry Pie Recipe
- 1 Deep-Dish Pie Pan 9-inch
Make the pastry:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup unsalted cold butter
- 4-5 tablespoons cold water
- 1 quart sour (tart) cherries washed and pitted or frozen-drained and thawed
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup all purpose flour can be replaced with cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract your preference
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces
How to make the pie crust (pâte brisée):
- In a food processor: Mix flour with salt and place in the food processor. Add cold butter cut into small cubes and pulse few times until you obtain a mixture that resembles sand or bread crumbs. Do not overmix. Add water, one tablespoon at a time until mixture holds together.
- By hand: Mix flour and salt together, then cut the cold butter into small cubes and add it to the flour. Use a pastry tool to incorporate the butter into the flour, or use your fingertips. You should have a mixture that resembles sand or bread crumbs. Add water, one tablespoon at a time until mixture holds together.
- Divide dough into two parts, then shape each half into a disk. Wrap each half in plastic foil and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or up to 1 day. (You can skip this part if you are in a hurry)
How to make the sour(tart)cherry filling:
- Mix sugar, salt, flour(or corn starch) together. Set aside.
If you use frozen sour cherries make sure to drain and thaw the fruit.
- If you use fresh cherries, wash and pit them.
- In a large bowl, place the sour cherries and add the mixture of sugar with flour. Mix everything together.
How to assemble the pie:
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Roll out one piece of dough on floured board to a 12 inch size. This will fit in a 9 inch pan. Trim away excess and use it for decorating the pie.
- Add the cherry mixture. Top the filling with little pieces of butter. Place the pie in the fridge while you work on the top of the pie.
- Roll out the other dough disk to a 9-10 inch size. Using a cookie cutter or a pastry tip make few holes in the pastry using the shapes you like.(I use the leftover dough to make leaves and decorate the edges of the pie)
- Take the pie out of the fridge and cover it with the top. Press together both layers of crust to seal around edges. Fold edges under and crimp as desired or decorate with leftover dough.
- Brush crust with egg wash. Bake in the oven for 1 ½ hour or until the pie is golden brown on top and bubbling. You might need to put some foil underneath the pie dish to avoid cleaning the oven, as the juices of the pie might come out during baking.
- Allow it to cool on a rack and serve it cool.