I don’t eat a lot of dessert, but when I do, it’s got to be out-of-this-freakin’-world, otherwise I am content with a modest square of dark chocolate. But every summer, when the livin’ is easy, and the ripest fruit is highest on the tree, I will indulge: a slice of cherry pie, then, a few weeks later, a slice of peach pie. If I had to offer just one tip for the crust dough, it would be this: Do not overwork it! Channel our pastry chef, Jennifer Scott, when you make this tender, flaky crust. –Lisa Ahier
Very Best Cherry Pie
Double Pie Crust
- 2½ cups flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup salted butter very cold, cubed
- ¾ cup ice water
- 6 to 8 cups (about 1½ lbs) fresh cherries pitted and quartered
- ¾ to 1 cup sugar see note
- juice of 1 orange
- ¼ cup cherry or orange liqueur like kirsch or Grand Marnier
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
Double Pie Crust
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar. Add the butter. Using your hands, two forks or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is the size of peas. They won’t all be uniform in size, but that’s okay: you want to avoid warming up the butter too much.
- Add the ice water all at once and gently knead the dough until it just comes together (I repeat: Do not overwork the dough!).
- With floured hands, divide the dough in half. Form into two disks, wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- When you’re ready to roll the dough, take the disks out of the fridge and let them rest on the countertop for at least 15 minutes, to take the chill off them. If you roll out cold dough, it will crack and leak.
- Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll out one of the disks to a 13-inch- diameter circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate and trim the edges to fit the plate. For a double crust recipe: Roll out the second piece of pastry to a 13-inch diameter circle and place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, gently mix together the cherries, sugar, orange juice, liqueur and salt. Add the cornstarch and gently toss until the cornstarch is evenly distributed.
- Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust. Pile it up a bit in the centre.
- Place the second pie crust over the filling and press around the edges to seal the filling. Use kitchen scissors to trim the excess crust to a 1-inch overhang, then fold the overhang under itself to form an edge. Using your fingertips, crimp the dough along the rim of the pie plate. With a paring knife, cut a few slits in the centre of the top crust to allow steam to escape.
- Place the pie on a baking sheet to capture any spillage. Bake on the lower rack of the oven for 20 minutes.
supermarkets. Bing cherries or Rainier are widely available. If using these sweeter varieties, cut the sugar back to ¾ cup.