I don't post a lot of dessert recipes, because I almost never eat dessert. However, I can almost always be coaxed into eating anything that involves sour cherries. My son and I were at the local farmers market last week and we were thrilled to find fresh sour cherries there. I could have contemplated making some sour cherry jam, which would have been wonderful in the winter, but with my son visiting, instant gratification seemed the more desireable choice.

Of course, the slight downside of using fresh cherries is that you have to pit them. The two of us sat companionably at the dining room table, each making a small slit in the fruit so that we could squeeze the pit out, which was quite easy. Then the discussion was do you cut them up as my son does or do you keep them whole, as I do. Seeing as we were making the pie at my cottage, we decided house rules apply — as they do with gin rummy — and we kept them whole.

In the end, my son saw the wisdom of the choice, because the pie was beautiful and held together really well. There is so much liquid in cherries that there is always the chance that it will turn into a pile of mush as you try to serve it. Not so in this case. However, given that amount of liquid, I would suggest that you put something underneath your pie plate in the oven, such as another pan or a piece of aluminum foil, because chances are it will overflow and burn on the bottom of the oven, which is brutal to try to get off.

This recipe is from the Canadian Living website.

Prep time: 1 hour 

Total time: 2 1/2 hours 

Yields: 8 servings

Classic Tart Cherry Pie with Lattice Crust

Ingredients for Crust

Pastry for 10-inch double-crust pie

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp sugar
Ingredients for Filling
  • 6 cups pitted tart cherries
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Cooking directions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place cherries in large bowl. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla; pour over cherries and stir gently.
  3. On lightly floured surface, roll out half of the pastry and fit into 10-inch (23 cm) pie plate; pour in cherry filling. Roll out remaining pastry; cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) wide strips. Weave strips about 1/2-inch (1 cm) apart over filling to form lattice top.
  4. Trim pastry to 1/2-inch (1 cm) overhang. Brush some egg under each strip where it meets bottom pastry edge; press to seal. Fold both edges under and crimp. Brush lattice with egg; sprinkle pie with sugar.
  5. Bake on baking sheet in bottom third of oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit; bake for 65 to 70 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is bubbly and thickened. Let cool completely on rack.
Sour Cherry Pie
Using sour cherries gives this classic pie a tart twist.