Cherry time, part 1 – cherry pie

Cherry time, part 1 – cherry pie

It’s cherry time up here in the Alps, and I just picked some cherries from the tree in our garden to make a cherry pie. Here’s the recipe.


  • 1 kilo fresh cherries
  • 350 grams flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 125 grams sugar
  • 5 ml vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Your favorite pie crust or pie dough recipe for 2 crust pie
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1cm pieces, to dot
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, to sprinkle

Making the pastry

Set aside 1 cup of ice cold water. Whisk together the 350 grams of flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt in a large bowl and cut the butter into 2cm pieces.  Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour and begin working them in with your pastry blender or a spatula (or fork), working all parts evenly. Stop when the mixture has a crumb the size of peas. Pour half the water over the butter and flour mixture and using a spatula, gather the dough together. Gradually add more water, a tablespoon at a time until you have large clumps of dough. Then use your hands to bring the dough together and form it into a ball.

Divide the dough in half, and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap, wrap and chill for at least two hours.

Making the filling

Place cherries in medium saucepan and place over heat. Cover. After the cherries lose considerable juice, which may take a few minutes, remove from heat. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch together. Pour this mixture into the hot cherries and mix well. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract, if desired, and mix. Return the mixture to the stove and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and let cool. If the filling is too thick, add a little water, too thin, add a little more cornstarch.

Putting it all together

Preheat oven to 200C.

Heavily flour your work surface and place your one disk of the chilled dough in the centre. Roll out each piece large enough to fit into an 20-23cm pie pan.

Gently place one crust in the pie pan, either by rolling it around the rolling pin and unrolling it over the pan or by folding it into quarters and unfolding it in the pan. Trim edges to a 2cm overhang.

Pour cooled cherry mixture into the crust. Dot with butter. Moisten edge of bottom crust. Place top crust on and flute the edge of the pie. Sprinkle with sugar.

Cut slits in the crust with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape and place in your refrigerator for 20 minutes to chill. Bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 175C and bake for 25 to 30 minutes more, or until the crust is golden. Let the pie cool on a rack.

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Cooking time:50 minutes