Best Dark Sweet Cherry Pie: Perfect for ANY occasion.
This is a true story. My aunt Hope is the lead singer of a band named Mazzy Star. Recently she and her band were playing a few nights here in Los Angeles, and then on to Mexico City. I was really excited about the gigs and wanted to find a way to celebrate the concerts through food. I kicked a few ideas around in my mind before settling on The Best Dark Sweet Cherry Pie. This isn’t a name I thought of but I’ll get to that later in the story.
The day before the show I set out to make a cherry pie with the word ‘Mazzy” cut out of the pie dough and cute little stars floating about. I assembled it, took a few photos of the pie, posted it on Instagram and baked it. Everything was perfect in my pie land.
I placed the pie on my kitchen counter to cool, thinking it would be perfect by morning and I would be able to deliver it to my Aunt as a ‘I know you’ll kick ass’ salute! I walked back into my kitchen about two hours later, and found the pie half eaten with the fork still in the pie plate. Needless to say I freaked out. There are 3 people that live in my house (myself included), and neither of the other 2 are taking responsibility for eating the pie.
I think about 10 minutes later my Aunt Hope sends me a text excited about the cherry pie. She saw it on Instagram, and couldn’t wait to dig in. To my horror I had to tell her ‘someone’ decided to take the liberty of eating it, not even fully cooled! This news didn’t settle well with her. I quickly promised I’d make her another one, but it wouldn’t be ready until the following day. I made good on my promise and made a 2nd pie. Making sure no one got to it before she did, I delivered it backstage before her show (pictured below).
After the show we had a little party and everyone had a slice of cherry pie. So many people I had never met, found me in the crowd to say it was the best cherry pie they had ever had in their lives (that’s how it got it’s name). Wow! What a compliment…. I’ll take it. Make the recipe and try the best dark sweet cherry pie!
For 9 1/2 inch double crust:
- 1/2 cups all purpose flour*
- 1 1/2 cups pastry flour*
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces (frozen)
- 1/3 cup frozen vegetable shortening, spooned into teaspoon drops
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) frozen unsalted butter, cut into tabs
- 1/2 cup extremely cold water
- 1 egg / 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)
- 1/8 cup sanding sugar
- 4 lbs dark sweet cherries (pitted
- 1 1/2 sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoons lemon juice
For the crust:
- Place the flours, sugar and salt into a food processor. Pulse to combine.
- Add in the cream cheese and vegetable shortening, and pulse until both fats are cut into the flour.
- Pulse in frozen butter into flour mixture in 3 parts. Do not over pulse. You are looking for pea sized balls of butter to remain.
- Slowly add in the ice water one tablespoon at a time. Give the dough one pulse between each water addition.
- Dump the dough onto a clean surface. Run hands under cold water for a few minutes. Dry your hands well, then quickly press the dough together to form a long log. Divide the log in half, and form each half into a disk.
- Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and place in the fridge over night.
- Remove one (1) chilled dough from the fridge, and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle clean work area with flour. I like to roll my dough on a non stick baking sheet. Roll the dough out from the center and move the mat underneath to make a perfect circle. I roll it out to a 1/8 inch thickness.
- Make sure the dough surpasses your pie plate by a couple of inches.
- There are a few methods of placing the dough into the pie plate. You can roll the dough around your rolling pin then unroll it onto the plate. Or you can fold it into 4’s and unfold it onto the plate. Either method works. I like using the rolling pin method.
- Once you place the bottom layer of pie dough into the pie plate, allow the overlap to drape over the edge. Place in fridge while you prepare the filling.
- Preheat oven for 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
For The Cherry Filling:
- Pit the cherries.
- Place the cherries in a large bowl.
- Add sugar, vanilla extract, cornstarch, and lemon juice to the bowl and mix to combine completely.
- With a slotted spoon, scoop the cherry mixture into the chilled pie crust plate and leave any excess liquid in the bowl.
- Remove the second disk of pie dough from the fridge and roll out to a 1/8 inch thickness. I cut Mazzy Star cutouts from the pie dough using a small star cookie cutter, and a small knife. Feel free to design the top however you’d like, as long as you make some sort of ventilation for the pie.
- Place the second piece of dough over the apple filling. Make sure the cherries are covered completely. (see step 10 to refresh how to transfer the dough)
- Fold the top crust over the bottom crust at the edge of the pie rim, and pinch them together to enclose the two crusts. Make a pattern with your fingers or decorate the edges with a fork pattern.
- In a small bowl mix egg and water to create egg wash. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush top of pie and edges with egg wash.
- Sprinkle top with sanding sugar.
- Place pie plate on a cookie sheet, and then place in the oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes with rack 1/3 from bottom of the oven.
- Remove pie from oven and place an aluminum foil tent around the edge of the crust only. This will keep the edge from burning but allow the center to continue to brown.
- Place the pie back in the oven and reduce the heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and continue baking for 50 minutes.
- Allow the pie to cool for a minimum of 4 to 5 hours, but overnight is ideal.
Wanna try my apple pie instead? Click here!