Classic Cherry Pie

I have this amazing triad of ladies here in my neighborhood.  We laugh, cry, laugh until we cry, support each other, and keep each other sane.  We commiserate about the wretched stuff and celebrate every chance we get.  We do wine and dinners and, of course, dessert.  Always dessert.

A few girls’ nights ago, I decided to bake a pie and bring it.  Ever since then, it’s become a thing.  Pies are my favorite thing to bake and share.  Pies are one of their favorite desserts.  In fact, that first pie night, we each ate two slices when I made a version of this blueberry blackberry pie.  When my friend’s husband came home that night, she told him he had to taste the pie.  He grabbed a fork and polished it off straight from the pie plate.  I brought me so much joy.

I made that very same pie again a few weeks later when we all got together again.  Then I made a strawberry balsamic pie for another girls’ night and made it again to share with my friend’s husband and dad, who was in town for a Father’s Day visit.  They sent me the best picture of them eating it for breakfast before heading out to go fishing.  I smiled from ear to ear and still do every time I think about it.

In the midst of all of that, the whole group has decided I need to open a pie business.  They’re serious.  They’ve named it Sweet Kelsey Pie, which has become a nickname.  I’ll gladly take it.

This classic cherry pie was a birthday request from one of my friends.  I’ve never made a cherry pie–can you even believe it?–so I was thrilled when she chose it.  I got to work looking through recipes.  It didn’t take me long to settle on taking inspiration for the filling from United States of Pie, cookbook I’ve had for some time but haven’t used nearly enough.  I used my perfect pie crust, of course, my favorite method for thicken fruit pies, and used suggestions from a handful of online recipes to lessen the amount of sugar since  I’d be using sweet cherries in place of the impossible to find in Texas sour cherries the recipe calls for.

With a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and good friends, the birthday girl loved it.  We all did.  That’s what it’s all about.

classic cherry pie

Classic cherry pie made with sweet summer cherries and my perfect flaky, buttery pie crust–just add vanilla ice cream and plenty of laughs with your favorite people.  What more could you really need? 


Classic Cherry Pie

an Apple a Day original



1 recipe perfect pie crust

5-6 c. pitted sweet cherries, fresh or frozen

1 c. granulated sugar, divided

1 TBSP flour

1 TBSP cornstarch

1 TBSP tapioca

1/4 tsp. almond extract

pinch of kosher salt

2 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 egg, beaten

turbinado sugar, for sprinkling



  1. The night before baking the pie, macerate the cherries by sprinkling them with 1/2 c. granulated sugar and putting them in the refrigerator, covered, overnight.
  2. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 425° F.
  3. Pour the juice released from the cherries into a jar.  Seal with a lid and keep in the refrigerator for adding to lemonade, sparkling water, or cocktails.
  4. To the bowl with the drained cherries, add the remaining 1/2 c. sugar, along with the flour, cornstarch, tapioca, almond extract, and salt.  Stir to combine and set aside.
  5. On a floured work surface, roll out one pie crust.  Transfer to the bottom of a pie plate.  (Deep dish is not necessary.  Pour in the cherry cherry filling and dot with butter pieces.
  6. Roll out second crust.  If desired, use pie crust cutters to make a design before transfering to the top of the pie.  Cut off excess crust around the edges.  Using a bit of water or egg wash, seal the two crusts and crimp the edges using your fingers.  Brush lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  Use cut outs to make a design, if desired.  Alternately, use a sharp knife to make five small slits in the center to act as steam vents.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes at 425°, then reduce heat to 375° F and bake 45-50 minutes more.  If crust is browning too quickly, lay a piece of foil over the top of the pie.
  8. Let the pie cool to room temperature before serving.
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