Cook the Book: Simple Cherry Pie

Cook the Book: Simple Cherry Pie

After yesterday's resoundingly successful blueberry pie, I am feeling pretty good. This good feeling might have something to do with the giant slice of pie I had along with my morning coffee, but for now I'll just attribute it to the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes from baking something delicious.

Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies by Mollie Cox Bryan includes every fruit pie recipe that you can think of as well as some that you might not have heard of--um, grape pie? My plan for today is to visit the Greenmarket and stock up on pie-worthy summer fruit for the week. Not confident of my pie-baking abilities, last week I took two beautiful pints of sour cherries and used them to make sour cherry and black pepper infused vodka. Hopefully there are still some sour cherries to be had this week to use in this recipe for simple cherry pie. Hopefully number two will turn out as well as the first one, wish me luck!

Win 'Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies'

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Barcelona Cookbook to give away this week.

  • Yield:one 9-inch pie


  • 1/2 recipe Plain Pie Pastry (recipe follows)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (16-ounce) can cherries, tart or sweet, or fresh cherries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 5 to 7 tablespoons cold milk


  1. 1.

    Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9-inch pie plate with 1 rolled out crust.

  2. 2.

    Mix the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the water to form a smooth paste. Put the cherries in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stir in the sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, stir in the cornstarch, and cook, stirring constantly, until thick, about 5 minutes.

  3. 3.

    Sprinkle the flour in the bottom of the prepared pie crust, then pour in the cherry filling and spread it out evenly.

  4. 4.

    Bake for 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for about 2 hours before slicing. Serve at room temperature.

  5. 5.

    Plain Pie Pastry

  6. 6.

    - makes two 9-inch crusts -

  7. 7.

    Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Cut the shortening with a pastry blender until it is the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the milk over part of the flour mixture. Gently toss with a fork and push to one side of the bowl. Sprinkle another tablespoon over another dry part, toss with a fork and push to another side of the bowl. Repeat with the remaining milk until all of the flour is moistened.

  8. 8.

    Press the dough together to form 2 equal balls, then flatten into disks. Roll out the crusts right away. or wrap the dough tightly, smoothing out any little wrinkles or air pockets, and refrigerate for up to two weeks. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Use a light touch and handle the dough as little as possible.

  9. 9.

    To prebake an empty crust, preheat the oven to 400° F. Press 1 rolled-out crust into a 9- or 10-inch pie plate. Line with parchment paper and weigh the crust down with dry beans or pie weights to keep the crust from bubbling or shrinking. Bake for 10 minutes, until firm and lightly browned. To parbake the crust, remove it from the oven after about 10 to 20 minutes, when you first see a golden hue to the crust.