Fresh Cherry Pie that I baked for our 8th Anniversary

A perfectly sliceable 7-inch fresh cherry pie baked with sweetened cherries in a flaky all-butter pie crust and a rustic lattice to celebrate our marriage. :-)
Fresh Cherry Pie that I baked for our 8th Anniversary
Our 8th anniversary was on June 21st. I deliberately decided not to make any desserts for the occasion this year because we had binge-watched Gilmore Girls and consequently binged on doughnuts and pizzas! Has that happened to you? Watch a series and you want to eat the same things they eat? After that, we don't deserve any more sugar or junk food. But this is the season of cherries! I was battling my urge to bake every time my loved ones kept asking me what I was planning to bake this year! Just a day before the date, a man came to our door and requested us to help him by buying his box of cherries. They were Lebanese cherries and looked so fresh and juicy! I didn't have a second thought - cherry pie it is! But, is this how the "Universe conspires"? or is this "What you resist persists!" 😂

While all my recipes are tested and tried before sharing here, some recipes get shared because they mark a certain occasion in my life like birthdays and anniversaries. But with this pie, let me remind you that I have already shared my first ever pie that I baked for our 6th anniversary. So, I used the same pie crust recipe and made Sally's fresh cherry pie filling (old recipe) (she updated the recipe method after my attempt). The highlight for me is my first attempt at lattice crust which could have been better but I loved the number 8 I made using cookie cutters. 😜 Sad news, not a single person noticed the "8" when I shared it on Instagram. 😭 

Fresh Cherry Pie Slice

From my apple pie attempt, I learnt a pie has to cool for a minimum of 3 hours so you can slice without too much runny filling. When I sliced this cherry pie after 3 hours, it still had some runny juice but was not as bad as my apple pie. I cling wrapped the rest and sliced the next day and they were perfectly sliceable without any visible runny juice. So I would suggest resting this pie for at least 5 hours. This also depends on cherries used as some are extra juicy than others. 

How do you make a cherry pie from scratch with fresh cherries? To make fresh cherry pie from scratch, you will need to follow a sequence of steps:
  1. make the pie crust dough, divide into two portions, cling wrap and chill or freeze
  2. pit the cherries and prepare the pie filling and chill
  3. roll one dough, line the pie dish, fill it with the cherry pie filling and chill 
  4. roll the next dough, cut into strips, place artistically over the pie dish, chill
  5. preheat the oven and bake the pie until golden (you most probably will need a pie shield)
  6. take out of the oven and let it cool for 4 to 6 hours
  7. slice using a serrated knife and serve 
How to pit the cherries? Once you have the pie crust ready, then the only time-consuming task is pitting cherries unless you own a cherry pitter. I wish I had it but a good knife will do that job well too. I use the same method of slicing avocado or any stone fruit like peach or nectarine to pit the cherries. Yes, it is time-consuming but way less messy but way neater cuts. So slice along the middle of the cherry, twist and open, and use your thumb to remove the seed. 

Can you substitute fresh cherries for dried cherries? I have not tried using dried cherries in pie filling but I am sure it would need to be rehydrated to make it soft and plum. Dried cherries can be used in equal parts for fresh cherries. Soak the dried cherries in warm water for 8 to 10 hours in the refrigerator and then use them in the pie filling recipe. 

Pie crust dough

two disc of Pie crust dough cling wrapped

Pitted cherries

cherry pie filling

pie dish lined with pie crust

pie with lattice and egg wash ready to bake

baked pie with foil pie shield

Fresh Cherry Pie Slice

Lattice or weaving the pastry strips needs a bit of patience, some coordination skills and logical thinking. I watched a few Lattice weaving videos and thought, "ah, that's easy!" but when it was time to do the action, I panicked and messed up. You can't keep correcting the weave because you risk the dough getting all greasy. Make sure to read or watch the links I have included in the recipe section to get your pie game up.

Fresh Cherry Pie recipe

INGREDIENTS

For the Pie Crust: (makes enough for 1 double-crust 7-inch pie)
  • 1 cup and 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, chilled*
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 125gms butter (cold and solid), cut into half-inch cubes 
  • 1/4 cup very cold ice water
For Cherry Pie Filling
  • 3 cups of whole fresh cherries, pitted and halved or quartered
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon cornflour /starch
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond flour (optional but recommended)
  • 10gms butter, cut into small pieces
For the Egg Wash
  • 1 egg (whole or yolk)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cream or milk
For Garnish
  • demerara sugar or sanding sugar

METHOD

    1. Prepare the pie crust: Add the chilled flour, sugar and salt into a mixie or a food processor. Pulse it a few times until combined. Next, add the very cold and solid butter cubes and pulse again 5 to 8 times or until they resemble coarse crumbs with pea-size butter pieces. Now, add the ice-cold water a little at a time between pulses just until it starts to come together. If the dough holds together when you pinch some in your hands, then it is ready. If it is not then add a dash of ice-cold water and pulse again. Transfer the mixture onto the work surface and gather the mixture to form a ball without "kneading". Divide the dough into two equal portions (roughly), flatten each to an inch thick disk, cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. You will see bits of butter on the dough which will melt as the crust bakes creating flaky layers. So, visible pieces of butter are a good thing, which you should aim for in this dough.
    2. Prepare the cherry filling: Take a large bowl and prepped cherries, sugar, cornflour/starch, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond flour and stir this until combined. Cover and place in the refrigerator until needed or for up to 24 hours.
    3. Roll out the dough:  When you are ready to roll the dough, remove one dough disc from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 5 to 8 minutes or more depending on the weather. This will make it easier to roll without cracks. Dust the counter with flour and start rolling from the centre and work your way out, turning the dough carefully with your hands as you go. Spread the dough large enough to cover the depth and sides of the 7-inch pie dish. Also, now is the time you should use the pie dish to cut out your foil pie crust shield
    4. Line the pie dish: Carefully place the rolled out dough into the pie plate. Lightly press it to the bottom and sides of the pie dish (ensure the dough overlaps the edge to prevent shrinkage while baking). Spoon the chilled cherry filling covering the base and mounting the excess. Place a few pieces of cold butter over the filling and refrigerate until needed. 
    5. Make the lattice: Remove the other disk of chilled pie dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough into a circle similar to the size of the pie dish. If feeling adventurous, make lattice else you may place the whole, uncut pie crust over the pie dish with filling and poke a hole in the top for a steam vent for steam to release like in my apple pie. Using a sharp knife, or pizza cutter, cut the dough into strips of any size. It can be all of the same width or of different width. Take out the pie dish from the refrigerator and quickly thread the strips over and under one another to resemble a "basket weave". I thought I did a good job but I wish I had seen this post on lattice weaving by everyday pie so I could have done a better weaving. Trim any excess and make sure to press the edges of strips with the bottom pie crust to firmly seal the pie. Flute or crimp the edges to make the pie look even prettier. With the remaining dough, I used a cookie cutter for the number 8 design. Chill the pie until the oven is preheated. 
    6. Bake the fresh cherry pie: Preheat the oven to 200C. Make the egg wash by whisking the egg or yolk with milk or cream. Brush the pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle some sugar all over the top. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes on level 3. Reduce the temperature to 190C, place the foil pie crust you made over the pie and continue to bake for another 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and you can see the cherry juices bubbling. 
    7. Cool the baked cherry pie: Remove the baked cherry pie from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Let it cool for at least 4 to 6 hours before slicing and serving. The filling will be runny if you slice it any earlier. The pie firms up even better the next day so there was no runny juice in our second-day slices. 
    8. Slicing the pie: The first piece of pie is always the toughest to get out of the pie dish without making a mess. Use a sharp serrated knife to slice through the crust and make sure you have cut through the bottom crust too. Use an offset spatula to dig out the piece. Read more on how to slice a pie in this food52 article
    9. Store leftovers: Cover the leftovers and keep at room temperature for a day or refrigerate them for no longer than 5 days. 
    Fresh Cherry Pie

    Previously

    1. = A road trip from Yanbu to Khobar
    2. = I had to return to India
    3. = A trip to Bahrain
    4. = Vimto Tiramisu 
    5. = New York Cheesecake topped with Kunafa (Instagram post and no recipe)
    6. = Apple Pie
    7. = Cream Kunafa
    I would love to know if you tried this recipe. You may leave a comment below or follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchaiblog so that I can see your creations! Thank you! 

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