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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sour Cherry Pie

This tart cherry pie works well with fresh or frozen cherries.  It takes the guess work out of whether or not the filling is going to set up because you cook it on the stove for a bit first.  That way you have a chance to adjust as needed before it ever hits the pie pan!

slice of tart cherry pie served with whipped cream

     This story probably actually starts a few years ago.  My aunt has a cherry tree that is very prolific.

     So my grandma, my aunt and I spent an entire afternoon pitting cherries.  We enjoyed each other's company and really had a great time despite the work.

     In the end we each had bright red fingers and enough cherries for a pie.  There is something about fresh cherries that you worked so hard for that makes the pie taste all that much better.

     That day we used one of my aunt's favorite recipes that uses instant tapioca.  I will definitely have to get that from her and share it sometime.

   Fast forward a couple years to last November.  I was away for a week doing some training for my new job the week before Thanksgiving.

   I got a text from my aunt saying she had some delicious cherries from that tree in her freezer.  She was hoping I could help coax them into a pie for our Thanksgiving celebration at grandma's.  Of course I could!!

pan filled with tart cherry pie filling

     I was a little worried about using the frozen berries, because I wasn't sure how the moisture content would differ.  As I defrosted them my worries got even greater as they released a lot of juice.

   This worried me for two reasons.  First I didn't want the juices to create a soggy bottom on my pie.  I also didn't want to end up with an overly soupy pie.

    However I didn't want to dump the juices and get rid of all of that good flavor.  So I decided to precook the filling a bit so I could better control the final result.

close up of cherry pie fresh from the oven

    It actually worked out pretty perfectly.  I was able to keep all of the flavor and adjust the final product as needed.

    Luckily my initial ratios of cornstarch to cherries worked great, but if you need to add a bit more cornstarch as the cooking process goes on you could easily add a teaspoon at a time mixed in just a little bit of cold water.  Allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes before you decide if it is thick enough.

    So you may be wondering what took me so long to share this if I made in in November.  Well, after Thanksgiving came the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies.

   You know how it gets, things get busy and everything happens and next thing you know a few months go by and it hasn't been posted. But it seems cherry season will be rolling back around sooner rather than later, so why not post it now? Better late than never, right?!

sour cherry pie
Yield: 8 servings

Sour Cherry Pie

Sour Cherry Pie

This tart cherry pie works well with fresh or frozen cherries. It takes the guess work out of whether or not the filling is going to set up because you cook it on the stove for a bit first. That way you have a chance to adjust as needed before it ever hits the pie pan!
prep time: 20 Mcook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 H & 20 M


  • 1 1/2 pounds pitted sour cherries
  • 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 recipe for double crust pie pie crust
  • Optional: milk or egg for wash and additional sugar


How to cook Sour Cherry Pie

  1. While still cold or at room temperature, stir together the cherries, lemon juice, sugar and corn starch in a large heavy bottomed saucepan.Over medium heat, bring to a boil stirring frequently. Keep stirring and boiling until it thickens to cherry pie filling consistency. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract if desired. Allow to cool completely.
  2. Roll out pie crusts and place bottom pie crust in pie plate. Fill with cooled cherry filling. Place top crust on top and crimp edges. Cut vents in top pie crust.If desired, brush with egg wash or a bit of milk and sprinkle with a bit of granulated sugar.
  3. Bake at 425 F for 20 minutes. Cover the edges with a pie shield or aluminum foil to prevent over browning and drop the oven to 375 F and continue to bake for about 30-40 minutes. Crust should be golden and the filling should be bubbling.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool. Delicious on it's own, but really good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!
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Created using The Recipes Generator

This tart cherry pie works well with fresh or frozen cherries.  It takes the guess work out of whether or not the filling is going to set up because you cook it on the stove for a bit first.  That way you have a chance to adjust as needed before it ever hits the pie pan!


  1. You are right pitting cherries is a lot of work but sooo worth it!! My BFF's favorite pie is cherry, I should surprise her and make this. I can taste the sweet-n-tart now and sounds so delicious!!

    1. They are soooooo good, but so dang much work. I always go a little crazy when the bing cherries are in season. They are so good and I guess the pits help you pace yourself.

  2. Cherry pie is one of my favorites! I love it so much, and with tart cherries, it's even better! My parents had 2 cherry trees in our backyard when we were growing up, and I loved it. I really miss being able to walk out and grab a handful of cherries. I've actually never made a cherry pie, sounds like something I need to do! :-)

    1. Oh my goodness, you definitely have to! I really want to get some fruit trees but my husband says they're too much mess. One of these days!

  3. You're so lucky to have all those cherries available to you! We had a cherry tree when I was growing up and eating them right off the tree was heaven--we never had enough at one time for a pie. I've only made cherry pie once in my life but you have me thinking I need to bake another soon. Happy Thursday Carlee!

    1. Happy Thursday to you too! I really want to have some fruit trees, but my husband thinks they are a mess. I think I may have to try harder!

  4. It's never too late to share a delicious pie recipe! Wonder if my little cherry tree will ever have enough berries for me to make a pie. If not, I'm coming over to your house :D

    1. That's what I figured! Come on over any time! We would have so much fun!

  5. I really MUST comment,my name is Teri,I have no clue what all the accounts are for commenting!🤔Anyway,I am so old,that I recall going up to Door County,Wi.,with my high school bo,to pick cherries for my mom to make the handed down tradition of,"cherry sauce".What makes me "old at almost 56,"but am really not old at all!;is that we /I was made to use a bobby pin to pit every freaking cherry!So serious.But,I do love cherry pie so thanks for reminding me that a pie is very much going on the meal rotation ASAP!😜

    1. A bobby pin isn't a half bad idea! How fun that you got to go pick cherries with your honey for your mom. Now I am wondering what was in your mom's "cherry sauce." Did you have it on ice cream or cheesecake or how did you use it?! Now I'm hungry just thinking of the possibilities!

  6. My mouth is watering! It's been a long time since we made a cherry pie! Pinned your recipe to share :)

    1. It had been too long for me too! Thank you!

  7. Your tart cherry pie looks and sounds delicious. Tart cherries are the best. Thank you for sharing your recipe at the Snickerdoodle Create~Bake~Make link party!

  8. I love cherry pie, but no one else in my family likes it. I don't make it because I'd hate to eat the entire pie! But, your recipe is tempting! Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle. Pinning.

    1. Oh no! Though I am not sure it would deter me to be the only cherry pie eater, if anything it might be a good reason to make more cherry pie! ;-) Maybe a carry-in will pop up and you can have help eating it that way! Thanks, Beverly!

  9. Cherry Pie is one of my all time favorites, this looks delicious! Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!