I made this pie two weeks ago, right before leaving town. Unfortunately I was only able to enjoy one piece, while Zack was left to finish the remainder. I hear it only lasted two days.
We bought bags of pitted sour cherries from a fruit stand in Palisade last summer, then tucked them back into the depths of the freezer. I’ve been rationing them in a way; each time I feel the urge to bake something with fruit I consider my sour cherries and decide if the recipe is worthy of them.
I did use some for the Sour Cherry Slab Pie back in August, which, was amazing. But this time I wanted a deep pie, one that was more traditional and packed with fruit. A little recipe hunting and we have this gem here.
The pie dough calls for cream cheese- a pleasant addition, yielding a super tender, light crust. The cherries were thawed and drained before measuring, since they had so much liquid. I had to add a lot more water than the original recipe calls for- likely due to our dry high altitude air.
This pie was probably one of my all-time favorites. Like most pies, once I have them assembled and baking I’m always left wondering why I don’t make them more often.
And since it is Mother’s Day, here are some other great recipes for treating your mom, grandmother, or any other special mother figures in your life.
How to make this high altitude adjusted recipe:
Sour Cherry Pie
Adapted from Saveur
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
- 9 tablespoons cold cream cheese, cubed
- 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- ¼-3/4 cup ice water
- PIE FILLING:
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 7½ teaspoons cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- 1½ lbs pitted and stemmed sour cherries (use fresh or frozen- if frozen, thaw and drain first)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the crust: Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl.
- Add the cubed cream cheese and butter, and using a pastry blender or two forks, cut the pieces into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse pea-sized crumbs.
- Sprinkle the vinegar over the mixture and add the water, starting with ¼ cup.
- Toss the mixture lightly with a spatula and add more water if necessary, in 1-2 tablespoon increments, until the mixture starts sticking together in clumps.
- Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and quickly knead a few times to bring it together.
- Divide the dough into two balls, one slightly larger than the other, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- For the filling: Stir sugar, salt, and cornstarch together in a large bowl.
- Add the cherries and vanilla, toss the mixture and allow the cherries to macerate at least 10 minutes and up to 3 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 375 F.
- Roll the larger ball of dough out on a lightly floured surface to an 11" round, then ease it into a 9" pie pan.
- Stir the filling, then transfer it into the pastry-lined pie pan.
- Roll out the remaining dough to a 10" round, then cut shapes out of it or cut it into strips, and drape over the the pie.
- Fold edges under, and if desired brush with a little heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.
- Place pie on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 40-50 minutes.
- Let the pie cool for several hours before serving.
Note: This recipe was adapted for high altitude baking. To make at sea level, increase baking powder to 1/4 teaspoon, and take note that you may use less water than the crust recipe calls for. Baking times may also vary slightly.