This cherry pie, y’all. It’s so good. I literally made three pies in a matter of ten days this month because I couldn’t find a reason not to.
Aside from being a show stopper, it’s incredibly fun to make. The combination of dark tart and dark sweet cherries creates the perfect balance of flavor and pairs so well with the vanilla, cinnamon and Cointreau.
And let’s not forget about the crust. While you can certainly opt for store bought crust, I think you should give Ina Garten’s foolproof recipe a chance. It uses both butter and shortening, making it easier to work with and full of flavor (this coming from someone who has launched pie dough out the door in a fit of fury).
While some cherry pie recipes call for the filling to be mixed cold and poured into the pie plate, I like to simmer mine on the stove first. It allows you to get the thickness just right and gives you wiggle room if you want to add in a bit more cornstarch. You can also make the filling ahead and refrigerate overnight with the dough to make for easy assembling in the morning!
Lastly, if you’re serving this cherry pie over the holidays, jazz it up a bit with a scoop of Jeni’s Spiced Sweet Cream. Packed with a symphony of winter spices like cardamom, peru balsam, vanilla and clove it makes for the perfect holiday pairing. Just note, a little goes a long way, as the holiday notes can quickly overpower the cherry pie.
Cherry Pie with Braided Lattice Crust
- 5-6 cups frozen cherries (I use a mix of frozen Dark Tart and Dark Sweet Cherries)
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. Cointreau
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 egg, beaten
*Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
- 12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/3 very cold vegetable shortening
- 8 Tbsp. ice water
Make the filling:
- Place cherries into a saucepan over medium high heat and cover. Stirring often, heat the cherries until they release their juices and come to a simmer, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon. Add mixture to the cherries and stir to thoroughly combine.
- Reduce the heat, add the lemon juice, vanilla and Cointreau and stir to combine.
- Let simmer until the cherry filling has thickened to your desired consistency or for about five minutes, let cool. If you desire a thicker filling, add a bit more cornstarch and let simmer.
Prepare the dough:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Dice the butter and return to the refrigerator. Then, place the flour, salt and sugar into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix.
- Add the butter and shortening and pulse 8 to 12 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube (cubes removed) and then pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball.
- Place the dough on a floured surface and roll into a ball. Cut the ball of dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
Make the lattice:
- On a lightly floured, cold surface, roll out one half of the dough into a 12” circle, about 1/8” thick and fit into the bottom of a 9” pie plate. Pour the cooled, cherry filling into the prepared bottom crust and place back in the refrigerator while you prepare the lattice strips.
- On a lightly floured, cold surface, roll out the remaining dough to form a large rectangle about 1/4” thickness. Using a ruler, cut 12 strips (each 1/2” wide and at about 11” long) with a sharp knife or a pastry wheel. Set aside.
- To create the braided crust, re-roll out the remaining scraps of dough into a large rectangle about 1/8” in thickness and 12” long. Using a ruler, cut 6 strips (each 1/4” wide). Take three strips and press the tops together using your thumb or a weighted surface. Braid the strips and set aside. Repeat with the remaining strips until you have enough braided pieces to cover the edge of the pie. If you have dough leftover, you may choose to cutout decorative leaves using a pairing knife.
- To assemble, arrange the strips of dough atop the filling, forming a lattice. Trim the strips, and press into the dough. Next, place the braided strips around the edge and trim. Use decorative leaves to hide where the braided strips meet.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the lattice with the beaten egg.
- Place the pie in the lower third of the oven and bake until the filling is bubbling, about 60 - 70 minutes.
- Let cool, serve and enjoy!