I'm all for seasonality, but despite diligent searching, I didn't come across a single tart cherry this Summer. When I investigated, I found out that my go-to specialty market only had them in stock for a mere three days due to a combination of a cold snap last Fall and California's epic drought conditions this Summer. Under these circumstances, some might sub sweet cherries, but sweet cherries just don't cut it in a tart cherry pie. So what's a girl to do? Instead of abandoning my dreams of cherry pie bliss, I turned to the next best thing: jarred Morello cherries. (Trader Joe's to the rescue!)
While some might be skeptical of jarred cherries, you need not be: these cherries brought the full, vibrant flavor I sought out. When I shared my pie with an office full of colleagues (at breakfast-time no less), I received a near-record amount of compliments. With its flaky, butter-rich crust and juicy filling that's neither too jelled nor too runny, it was one of the best pies I've ever made.
Make this pie several hours in advance to allow it plenty of time to cool. The filling will set, and it will be easier to slice. If fresh tart cherries are unavailable, substitute frozen or jarred cherries. If working with frozen cherries, allow them to thaw and then drain off excess juices; if using jarred cherries, drain off the liquid they're packed in.
2 disks of pie dough
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 cups whole pitted sour cherries (about 2 pounds unpitted cherries)
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
About 1 tablespoon cream
About 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 425°F.
- Whisk together 1 cup of sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl. Gently fold in cherries, lemon juice, and almond extract.
- Roll out 1 dough disk on a floured surface into a 12-inch round. Transfer to a 9-inch Pyrex pie dish. Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch.
- Roll out second dough disk on floured surface into a 12-inch round. Using a large knife or pastry wheel with fluted edge, cut ten 3/4-inch-wide strips from dough round.
- Transfer filling to dough-lined dish, mounding slightly in center. Dot with butter.
- Arrange dough strips atop filling, forming lattice; trim dough strip overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold bottom crust up over ends of strips and crimp edges to seal. Brush lattice crust with cream. Sprinkle lattice with demerara sugar.
- Place pie on rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Bake pie until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, covering edges with foil collar if browning too quickly, about 50-60 minutes longer. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.
- Cut into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream.
- Desserts, Pies/Tarts
- North American
- Serves 8-10