Friday, July 29, 2011

Harvesting Cherries and making a Pie!

I have a sour cherry tree which is about 8 years old.  This is the first time, that we've had a lot of cherries and that we've actually harvested them.  Usually the birds get them.  The tree is very easy to care for.  We never spray them.  The downside to this is, the cherries do have worms (:  During the pitting process, we simply discard the wormy cherries.  Also, the cherries have a very short shelf life, so quick processing is essential.

Lots of cherries!

Time consuming process to pick this pile !

I decided to try my hand at making a cherry pie along with "from the scratch" crust.  I found one on and modified it to suit my needs.

Sour Cherry Pie

Yields 1 - double crusted 9 inch pie

  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie [see recipe below]
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 cups fresh pitted sour cherries
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter(forgot to use)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine corn starch, salt, sugar, cherries and extracts. Let stand 15 minutes. Turn out into bottom crust [and dot with butter - forgot to add]. Cover with top crust, flute edges and cut vents in top. Place pie on a foil lined cookie sheet --- in case of drips!
  3. This is how I baked it,
  4. Bake for 400F - for 10 min,
    Lower to 350F - bake for 34 min,
    Increase to 375F - bake for 20 min until golden brown.

1. Use whole pitted cherries, rather than cut into halves while pitting. 
2. The easiest way to remove pits without making too much mess is to use a fast food restaurant straw and gently pushing through the top, until the seed pops out.

Pie Crust
2.5 cups flour
1 cup(2 sticks of salted butter) cut in half inch cubes kept in freezer for an hour before using.
1 tsp sugar
6 -8 Tbsp ice water(keep the water in freezer for a little while until chilled)
Method:1. Combine flour, salt, sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix.
2. Add butter and pulse until mixture is coarse meal with pea size pieces of butter.
3. Then add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing until mixture begins to clump together.  If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it is ready. 
4. Shape this into 2 discs.  Knead dough just enough to shape, do not over-knead.  You should be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These small chunks of butter are what will allow the resulting crust to be flaky. Sprinkle a little flour around the discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap(large enough to use it to roll on) and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.
5. Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out on the plastic and cover with another plastic to avoid sticking to the pin.  [Optionally - Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. If necessary, add a few sprinkles of flour under the dough to keep the dough from sticking.] Carefully place onto a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish.
6. Refrigerate for an hour atleast.  Keep the entire pie dish covered with plastic.  This refrigerating the crust helps avoid sogginess on the bottom crust.
7. Brush some egg white(lightly beaten) on the bottom and top crust.  [Optional - I've read that this helps avoid sogginess on the bottom crust as well]
Mix all the ingredients - Pitted cherries, corn starch, salt, sugar, extracts

Add ingredients to the bottom crust

The top crust

Brushing with egg white

Finished Pie, ready to be baked....

Cherry Pie!!!!

Yumm!  It was absolutely delicious. 


  1. It looks delicious! I brought some rhubarb in this morning, and as I was cutting it up my grandson came in..."Oh boy, Grandma! Are you making a rhubarb pie?" He was rather disappointed when I told him I was freezing the fruit for a pie at a later time, I wasn't baking one on a 96-degree day.

  2. I don't doubt that he was disappointed. I have never tasted a rhubarb pie! Let me know when you bake one, I will drop by :)

  3. wowww thats a lovely pie poowhani where is my share of the yummy pie ?