Culinary Institute of America Recipe
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Sour Cherry Pie

Pie can be made with fresh, frozen, or canned tart cherries. The fresh sour-cherry season is a short and fleeting one. Though they are often too fragile to ship very far, if you are lucky enough to find these tart deep red or dark purple-black pie cherries at a local farmers’ market, purchase them! They can also be found canned or frozen. Two varieties are Montmorency and Morello.TasteNY logo

Use our All Butter Pie Crust recipe—an all-purpose buttery and flaky pie pastry made with all butter. The key to the flakiness is threefold: the size of the butter pieces; the proper mixing of the dough, which prevents the fat from completely blending into the flour; and keeping the butter cold throughout mixing

The following recipe is from the CIA cookbook Pies and Tarts (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014). Watch Chef Bill Briwa's video on how to use New York sour cherries >  

Sour Cherry Pie recipe by the CIA - Taste NY



Makes one 9-inch pie

  • All Butter Pie Crust
  • 5 cups (approximately 2 pounds) sour cherries (Morello or Montmorency), pitted if fresh; drained if canned or frozen; 1/2 cup of juice reserved
  • 2 tablespoons water, if using fresh cherries
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Egg wash, as needed
  • Sanding sugar or granulated sugar, as needed


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and set the rack in the lowest position.
  2. Add the cornstarch to the reserved juice if using frozen or canned cherries, or water if using fresh, and stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt, stirring to combine. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, and simmer, stirring, for 15 to 20 minutes, until reduced and thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Return the pan to the stovetop and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until clear and thick. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for 30 to 45 minutes, or until cooled to room temperature. Transfer the cherry mixture to the prepared and chilled bottom crust.
  4. Roll out the top crust to ⅛ inch thick. Using a pastry wheel, cut fourteen 1-inch wide strips of dough. Brush the edge of the bottom crust with water and gently weave and arrange the dough strips on top of the filling to create a lattice top. Trim the edges flush with the edge of the bottom crust and press to seal. Turn and decoratively crimp or flute the edges.
  5. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the lattice top with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar or granulated sugar.
  6. Bake until the filling is bubbly and thick, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Let cool for 2 to 3 hours. The filling will continue to thicken and set as the pie cools.

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