SOUR CHERRY PIE

 

March 10, 2015

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When I was a kid, everything cherry red was the bomb: cherry lifesavers, cherry popsicles, cherry nibs, cherry jelly beans… As I “matured” I realized that these “cherry” candies were just fake cherry flavor, sugar and red food coloring and wasn’t cherry at all. I’m embittered by it. In all this time, I’ve never had a cherry pie. Never. I’m emphasizing this void because I’m gob smacked at how delicious cherry pie is. I took my first bite and immediately thought that THIS is the cherry of my childhood. Rick very gallantly offered to save me from doom by taking the crust off my hands, but I gave him my back. I felt emotionally protective of my pie. With my mouthful, I mumbled that this cherry pie is better than the caramel buns. I had two pieces at 11 points each, or let’s say ¼ of the pie. Then I watched American Idol and went to bed.

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Instructions

SPECIAL PIE EQUIPMENT

PASTRY

  • Here’s what I think of my favourite Flaky and Tender Cream Cheese Pie Crust. Did you miss it? It’s my favourite. The recipe always works, and never fails. I think the apple cider vinegar is the secret because it relaxes the dough.

Three wild guesses what this is a picture of.
Three wild guesses what this is a picture of.

Pastry in crumbs.
Pastry in crumbs.

Kneading it together.
Kneading it together.

  • Curiously though, my final weight for the dough was 525 grams, so I couldn’t get the halves to weigh 312, no matter how hard I tried. I wonder what happened.

SOUR CHERRY FILLING

  • At the local restaurant supply store, I found frozen pitted black cherries. They aren’t necessarily sour, but they are cherries in March. I sat them on the counter to defrost, but I also set a second bowl too. With them, I will make the cherry concentrate.

On the left are the cherries for the pie. On the right are the cherries for the reduction.
On the left are the cherries for the pie. On the right are the cherries for the reduction.

  • I was shocked at how much juice there was: 2/3 juice and 1/3 fruit. Yikes, here we go again. I cooked up the filling and like a charm, the corn starch created a wonderful consistency.

Sugar, cornstarch and salt for the filling.
Sugar, cornstarch and salt for the filling.

The cooked filling as it cools.
The cooked filling as it cools.

  • I felt encouraged. I wondered if it would have been possible to precook the Black and Blueberry Pie filling? What a sure-fire successful approach to really juicy fruit filling. Hhmm.
  • I found the filling a bit too sweet for my taste, so I added 1 tbsp of lemon juice. It created the acidity and brightness I felt was lacking. I expect the recipe was formulated for sour cherries and not black cherries.

CHERRY CONCENTRATE

  • I once made an Apple Pie from The Pie and Pastry Bible for my best kitchen buddy for his birthday. He’s an October baby so apples seemed appropriate. This recipe required me to macerate the apples so that they release maximum juice, then reduce it to about 2 tbsp. At the time, it seemed like unnecessary minutia (I was inexperienced then). Now my friend was/is quite the master in the kitchen. He’s travelled the globe and has eaten everything, no exceptions. And when he told me that this Apple Pie was the best he’s ever had, I wondered if maybe it was the wine and the scotch I poured for him, but I think not. I realized that it was the apple reduction, and it was then I learned the power of concentrating flavours. I decided to never make him another apple pie because I thought it best to let this memory ripen to epic proportions. Leave ‘em wanting more, I say.
  • When I saw that this cherry pie called for cherry concentrate, I knew how to make my own with the left over frozen cherries.

Cherry juice as it’s concentrating.
Cherry juice as it’s concentrating.

The cherry concentrate.
The cherry concentrate.

ROLL THE DOUGH FOR THE BOTTOM PIE CRUST

  • First you need to loosen the dough so it can be rolled.

Beating the dough into submission on my well worn pastry cloth.
Beating the dough into submission on my well worn pastry cloth.

The dough just before I cut it. Rose’s Perfect Pie Plate has been used, and used, and used.
The dough just before I cut it. Rose’s Perfect Pie Plate has been used, and used, and used.

  • I lined the pie plate with the bottom crust

The plate lined with the bottom crust.
The plate lined with the bottom crust.

  • and poured the filling in. The filling didn’t fill more than half the pie plate. I felt a little worried that I had tasted too much.

The filling in the pie plate.
The filling in the pie plate.

  • I soldiered on and cut the lattice

Working with the lattice.
Working with the lattice.

BAKE THE CHERRY PIE

  • I’m wiser now and used a foil ring on the edges so it wouldn’t over brown, but I found that the edges didn’t brown at all with the foil on, so I had to remove it in the last 10-15 minutes so that the whole pie looked even. The filling was definitely set and not soupy. I was so relieved that it hadn’t watered. I ask again, can I precook the juice of all fruit fillings? It was so effective here!

The pie out of the oven.
The pie out of the oven.

COOL THE CHERRY PIE

  • Yes, yes, yes, I let the pie cool for 3 hours, but only because I went to my Tango class. When I got home, I cut into it,

The first cut.
The first cut.

The first piece.
The first piece.

gone.
gone.

  • we took the pictures,

Half the pie gone in one sitting. This is why I’m on Weight Watchers!
Half the pie gone in one sitting. This is why I’m on Weight Watchers!

Captain Canada…shameless…
Captain Canada…shameless…

  • Honestly, it was better the next day. It just seemed to have settled and matured overnight.

Sour Cherry Pie, The Finer Cookie.
Sour Cherry Pie, The Finer Cookie.

  • HERE'S HOW THE ALPHA BAKERS WORK: once a week, for the next two years, 25 Alpha Bakers commit to baking their way through every recipe of Rose Levy Beranbaum's newly published The Baking Bible. Each week we post our experiences on our blog sites: our successes, our failures, our like and dislikes . The recipes are scheduled in advance so that everyone is baking the same recipe at the same time. No recipes can be shared in my Alpha Bakers Baking Bible posts due to publishing restrictions enforced by the publisher, but if you love to bake, this is a must-have book. You can see other tutorials for the same recipe at the following link The Baking Bible Alpha Bakers at http://rosesalphabakers.blogspot.ca/.
TAGS:  BAKING BIBLE   cherry       LABELS: Alpha Bakers 

Comments

13 Comments

Patricia Reitz   2017-01-08

Oh Kim, pure pie perfection! I love that you made your own cherry concentrate. Always love your photos. Can't wait to make this pie again. Patricia @ ButterYum http://www.butteryum.org/roses-alpha-bakers/2015/3/14/tbb-sour-cherry-pie-pi-day Terri H. A year ago

Terri H   2017-01-08

I'm drooling. Can barely read this blog post. Cherry pie is the ONLY pie. The photos look amazing. I can almost taste this one. Who can count points when faced with a Cherry Pie! Beautiful job Kim. You're going to have to bake this recipe over and over ..... I have no doubt it will become part of the family!

Vicki   2017-01-08

I'm quite certain those 49 weekly bonus points were made specifically for Alpha baking! Such a beautiful pie in your pie plate. Will definitely try your reduction tip.

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Thank you Vicki. The 49 points come in handy in moments like this.

faithy   2017-01-08

Great tip on how to make cherry reduction! I will take note of that and do that! I love how juicy your filling is. I should add more juice next time I make it. :)

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

I was so excited by this pie. The juiciness is what struck me too.

Mendy   2017-01-08

This was a fantastic pie! I like your reduction tip. You can really apply the idea to most recipes in attempt to bring out flavor. I love your first picture!

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Reducing juices improves flavours in almost everything. Thanks for you nice words. I liked your pics too.

Kristina   2017-01-08

Your pie is absolutely beautiful! I suspect that pre-cooking this filling works well because cherries hold up reasonably well. I have a feeling that pre-cooking the blackberries would just end up with mush.

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

I suspect you're probably correct about precooking berry fillings. No one wants berry jam pie, but you can certainly precook the juices, which might be the real trick

Marie   2017-01-08

I think there's a recipe for sweet cherry pie in the book too, so you'll have to compare (I mean you have to, it's a must). I have no answer to your question about precooking the juices, but if it works for you..

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

We'll see about the second cherry pie. I promise to compare!

Lawrence if Montreal   2017-01-08

Simply, sinfully spectacular.

Monica Caretto   2017-01-08

Your husband face looks like my husband face when I told him he had to share with his visiting family the pie. Your pictures are beautiful (as always) and how did you get your top to be so caramelized?

evilcakelady   2017-01-08

beautiful pie, and i love how well used your pie plate looks. i think you will absolutely love this pie even more when you can use sour cherries--i hope you blog about it. that's a hilarious photo of captain canada. i once caught my dad (also canadian) picking up an apple pie and eating it like a sandwich!

orins goodies   2017-01-08

I had to protect my pie also…What a great idea of making your own concentrate. I also agree that the pie tastes better the day after.

Glori   2017-01-08

Love the shot of Captain Canada! Great pictures and such a perfect pie.

Milagritos   2017-01-08

Kim, your pie looks dreamy...I don't blame Captain Canada for trying. So clever of you to make your own cherry concentrate. Love your close-up shots of cherry filling. You understand how to make your audience hungry!

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SOUR CHERRY PIE

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