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First Cherry Pie

I didn’t grow up eating fruit pies (homemade or otherwise) other than the occasional Tastykake. Around 1980, however, I had an epiphany in the form of a transcendent slice of cherry pie at O.G. Dining Room (in Greenwich Village). Since then, cherry pie has been my favorite fruit pie.

Store-bought cherry pies just didn’t do it for me, and I have been talking about making a cherry pie from scratch for a long time. (We have some fruit pie experience. Anne regularly makes a killer apple pie using a recipe by Nick Malgieri, and I contribute the crust.) The only problem was—the cherries. I can't remember ever seeing sour cherries in any store. Last summer, we finally found fresh sour cherries, bought a ton of them, and... made a big mistake. Instead of using them right away, we froze them. When we finally thawed out the cherries last week, we learned our lesson—pit them first (freezing turned them into limp sacks of juice, which made pitting much more difficult). Despite that, the Oxo pitter worked well.

Cherry pies usually sport a lattice crust, which neither of us had ever made. Fortunately, the directions in Baking Illustrated were straightforward. I made the dough, which was a little different from what I usually make. It had more flour and water and less fat (I used a combination of lard and unsalted butter). The dough was easy to roll out and turned out better than it usually does. Anne made the lattice crust as well as the rest of the pie; I just took pictures.

Lattice strips

Half the dough is cut in to strips for the lattice. This was supposed to be a “rectangle of dough.” Um, close enough.

Weaving the lattice strips

Weaving the lattice. You don't actually weave; just fold back strips alternately.

The finished lattice top

Done! Now, to get it on the pie.

Lattice top in place

There, that was easy. Lots of nipping and tucking was required at this point.

Cherry pie filling

The filling was pretty soupy (cherries ruptured because of freezing), and we should have drained off more of the juice.

The finished cherry pie

The finished pie. It was superb!



Fair Food Farmstand in Reading Terminal carries sour cherries when they're in season.

this looks great!

Good to know, thanks! Making this pie will probably become a summer tradition.

You can bet your biscuits we'll be trying this out. Care to share the recipe and lattice crust instructions?