National Cherry Pie Day: How to Make Cherry Pie
February 20 is National Cherry Pie Day — you don’t need to twist our arms to celebrate this one! To celebrate, we are sharing our cherry pie recipe. It’s all from scratch, but there are shortcuts you can try and still call it homemade. Here’s how to make cherry pie:
Crust: This recipe is for a 9” double crust. Nora Ephron (she wrote When Harry Met Sally… Sleepless in Seattle, and Heartburn) was quite a cook and always said there is no reason to ever make pie dough from scratch. We don’t believe that’s true (you can use pie dough for so many things), but in case you don’t feel like rolling it out yourself, there’s no shame in using a store-bought crust.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cubed (you can also use ¾ shortening)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (milk or water are adequate substitutes)
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add butter. With your hands, squeeze the butter and dry ingredients together until the butter is coated with flour and the pieces are about the size of peas. Make a well in the mixture. Pour all of the buttermilk into the well.
Filling: Cherries are not in season — they have a short growing season in the summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have cherry pie in the middle of February — you just won’t have fresh cherries in your pie. We used canned cherries packed in water — they still make a fabulous pie. Alternatively, you can use two cans (14.5 oz) cherry pie filling.
- 3 cans (14 oz) of tart or sweet cherries in water
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
In a saucepan over high heat, combine all your ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for ten minutes. Set the pan aside to let it cool.
Roll out one ball of dough to about ⅛”. It should be a little bit bigger than your pie plate. Fold it in quarters and place the corner in the center of your pie plate and unfold the dough.
Pour the filling into the pie plate lined with dough. Unfold the reserved dough on top of the filling. Press the two layers of dough around the edged. With kitchen shears, cut the excess dough around the edges leaving about an inch hanging over the edge. Fold the edges under to seal the pie.
Crimp the edges. With a paring knife, pierce three slits in the middle of the pie. Whisk together one egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush the top of the pie and edges with the egg wash. Refrigerate your unbaked pie for about 30 minutes. When you’re ready to bake, cover the edges (without touching them) of the pie with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and lower the oven temperature to 350℉. Bake for another 20 minutes, occasionally checking to make sure the crust doesn’t get too brown. When you can see the filling bubbling up through the slits, it’s ready.
Let your pie cool on a wire rack for at least two hours. If you just can’t wait to dig in, you can, of course, serve a slice earlier than that, but the filling might be a little soupy — it thickens while standing.