When I think of cherry pie I think of a super American Summer (and also the song by Warrant). You would think growing up in America I would have had my fair share of cherry pies, but I think this one might be my first? Unless I had such a bad cherry pie that I repressed it from my memory. I knew when I was developing this recipe that I wanted a pie that wasn't too sweet, wasn't too liquidy and had a flavour that really brought out the cherries.
While doing some research (which is basically me on the couch, surrounded by baking books) I saw a few different methods for making the filling. Some bakers allowed the cherries and the rest of the filling to macerate, others cooked it down, and some even just did a quick mix with a spoon before filling up the pie dish. with my recipe I decided to cook the cherries down with sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and cinnamon, before adding a bit of kirsch. If you've never heard of kirsch, it's a cherry liquor and it is STRONG. I'm talking about one sniff and it really clears your head. Back home in Switzerland you might tip a thimbleful in your fondue just before serving. I thought adding a tablespoon of the kirsch would bring up the cherry flavour.
I haven't given a dough recipe because 1) I don't have my own that I've created and 2) during my pie research I've seen people are very, very particular about the dough they use!
Cherry Pie Tips
- When pitting the cherries, make sure to wear an apron or dark clothing! Also once you're finished take a look around your kitchen to make sure you've spotted any juices you need to clean. I may have found some near the ceiling...
- You can use a cherry pitter to make it a bit easier, but I just used a small knife to cut each cherry opening. I would suggest putting a podcast on though because it can take awhile.
- Cornstarch is what's going to keep the filling intact and not soupy so don't skip that! Some other recipes might call for tapioca flour or arrowroot powder, but I haven't tested this recipe with either of those.
- If you aren't using sour cherries like I have, you might want to decrease the amount of sugar in the filling. It might be a bit too sweet other
- If you don't have kirsch, try a cherry brandy!
Kirsch Cherry Pie
- 9-inch pie dish
Cherry Pie Filling
- 860 grams sour pitted cherries
- 200 grams granulated sugar
- 36 grams cornflour
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon kirsch
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
- Add cherries, sugar, salt, cinnamon, cornflour and vanilla to a medium saucepan. Cook on medium-low for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once all the sugar and cornflour is dissolved, increase to a medium heat for another 5-10 minutes. The filling should get very thick. Begin to stir constantly, making sure it doesn't burn.
- Take off the heat and add the kirsch, giving it a good stir.
- Let Cool
- Preheat your oven to 220°Celsius
- Prepare your pie dish by rolling out one portion of pie dough.
- Fill the pie dish with the cooled cherry filling, and pop in the fridge.
- While the pie is in the fridge you can roll out your second portion of pie dough, and either do a lattice like I have, using cutters to make shapes or do a full top crust.
- Take the pie out of the fridge and arrange the top as you like, then pop it back in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Put the pie dish on a baking sheet lined with foil. Beat 1 egg and a bit of water in a small bowl, and brush the top of the pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle a bit of raw sugar on top.
- Put it in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
- Turn down the oven to 175°Celsius and cook for a further 40 minutes. Pie should be golden brown and you should see the juices bubbling.
- Let the pie rest for about 4 hours, if you cut too soon the filling will be runny