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Tart Cherry Pie

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Yield: 1 pie 1x


This pie steals its flavors and composition from the Grand Traverse Pie Company in Traverse City, MI. An almond tart cherry pie with a crumble and soft crust. Look for frozen Montmorency tart cherries at the store. They are picked at the peak of the season in northern Michigan and frozen within hours from harvest. Cherry pie all year long! The filling is cooked ahead of time to get the process started, allowing everything to finish in the oven at the same time. No burnt crust or over-browned crumble. I hate to be presumptuous, but I’m pretty sure this guy could win a ribbon or tow. Best when made a day in advance.




  • 1 1/4 c. all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp. pure cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/4 c. ice water
  • 1 tbsp. whole milk yogurt or sour cream


  • 5 c. tart cherries, frozen
  • 1 1/4 c. pure cane sugar
  • 1/3 c. organic cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • pinch of kosher salt


  • 1 1/4 c. all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/3 c. pure cane sugar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 7 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/8 tsp. almond extract


  1. Make the crust. At least 2 hours before baking the pie, make the crust. Into a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Cube butter and toss into the flour mixture. Using your both your pointer and middle finger and your thumb, smash the butter cubes into shreds as if you were snapping your fingers. See image above. Do this until all the butter is incorporated and shredded into the flour. Measure water into a liquid measuring cup. Stir in the yogurt and pour over the flour mixture. Incorporate with your hands or a pastry fork until mixture begins to form a shaggy mass. Try to refrain from kneading the dough. We want to develop as little gluten as possible. Form dough into a disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. If the dough is a little dry, add more chilled water 1 tablespoon at a time until it just comes together. If your dough is too wet, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it just comes together. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes. Onto a lightly floured surface, roll out chilled dough into a long rectangle. You may need to sprinkle a little more flour on the surface to keep from sticking. Try to use as little as possible. Fold into thirds, like a letter. Rotate the dough 90° and repeat two more times. After the final fold, shape rectangle into a disk once again. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Make the filling. About 30 minutes before baking the pie, make the filling. Into a medium saucepan, add the frozen tart cherries. Pour in sugar and cornstarch. Stir to evenly coat. Stir in water. Turn heat to medium. Once cherries begin to thaw, stir occasionally. Once mixture thickens to where it coats the back of a spoon and has an exaggerated drip, remove from heat. This should take about 10 minutes. Stir in butter, almond extract, and pinch of salt. Set aside.
  3. Make the crumble. Into a small bowl, stir together flour, sugars, and salt. Pour over melted butter and extract and stir together until evenly combined. You’ll begin to see the crumbles form when you press the mixture together. Set aside.
  4. Assemble the pie. Preheat oven to 350°F. Set out a baking sheet and a pie tin. With a surface lightly floured once again, roll out pie crust until it will overhang slightly in the pie tin. Gently fold the pie dough into fourths. Place in pie tin and unfold. Using kitchen shears, trim off the excess, leaving a slight overhang. Dough will shrink a tiny bit during the bake. Place pie tin on baking sheet. Crimp the edges if you wish. Pour filling into the pie tin. Sprinkle crumble mixture around the filling, leaving about a 1/2″ free space between the crust and the crumble. I like to give a pie context. You may have leftovers of the crumble. Discard or save. Bake for 30 minutes or until crumble and crust starts to golden. Remove and cool completely before serving to allow the pie to set. An overnight rest is best.
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