These days, inspiration usually strikes from of a podcast. It was during one of my usual commutes that I was listening to Radio Cherry Bombe and the topic of sour cherries came up. Now as a self-professed foodie, I was surprised I hadn’t paid attention to these before. They’re only in season for a short time (early-to-mid July), only adding more intrigue, and taste completely different than sweet cherries. So off I went on a search to find some closest to me.
After an exhaustive search on my regular search sites like Chowhound and Reddit, I decided to look for them on Instagram using hashtags and it worked! Up popped the 19th Avenue Farmer’s Market and I went the next morning. I am nothing if not efficient and I was worried I’d miss the window.
Luck was on my side and I was greeted by rows of baskets containing these perfect red beauties and I knew just what to make with them: Sour Cherry Pie from Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book.
Here’s the recipe:
Sour Cherry Pie (From The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book)
All-butter Crust for a 9-inch double-crust pie
5 cups sour cherries, pitted (*I measured after pitting)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tbsp ground arrowroot starch (*I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 tsp water and a pinch of salt)
Demerara sugar, for finishing (*I use raw)
Have ready and refrigerated one pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan and lattice to top.
Combine cherries, lemon juice, granulated and brown sugars, arrowroot, allspice, salt, egg, and bitters in a large bowl and toss well to combine. Pour the filling into the refrigerated pie shell, arrange the lattice on top and crimp if desired.
Chill pie in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set the pastry. Meanwhile, position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack, and preheat the oven to 425°F.
Brush the pasty with egg wash; if your pie has a lattice top, be careful not to drag the filling onto the pastry (it will burn). Sprinkle with the desired amount of demerara sugar.
Place the pie on the rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375°F, move the pie to the center oven rack, and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling throughout, 30 to 35 minutes longer.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
The pie will keep refrigerated for 3 days or at room temperature for 2 days (if it lasts that long!)