Spiced Cherry Pie

Now, here’s a timely recipe to try out my One Pie Dough to Rule Them All recipe I gave you last night.  Try it before the fleeting cherry season is over.  Do try, even if you’re one of those who couldn’t stand the generic, gloopy cherry pie – I’m looking at you Matt. Because this recipe, this ain’t your usual, generic cherry pie.  It might even be the best cherry pie you’ll ever tasted.  You try it and tell me.

The secret to this pie is the spices.  When I was tinkering with my cherry pie recipe, I thought adding some spices to it would be fun.  So I went to my spice rack and found a blend that I made for my French spiced bread, Pain d’Epices.  It’s got the usual cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, but also with a generous amount of ginger powder, giving it an interesting, unusual character.  It turned out beautifully in the first cherry pie I baked for the season.  Now I won’t ever bake my cherry pie without it again.


Spiced Cherry Pie

  • 1 recipe One Pie Dough to Rule Them All (Or use your favorite pie dough, even a store-bought one if you must)
  • 2 lbs | just under 1 kg sweet cherries (Bing or similar varieties)
  • 1 cup | 200 g granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • a pinch of clove
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch, flour, or ClearJel
  • juice from 1 large or 2 small lemons
  • 1 beaten egg blended with a bit of water to make an eggwash
  • demerara sugar (or other large-grain sugar) to sprinkle on top

You will also need a 9″ pie plate.  I heartily recommend using a simple glass pie plate for this.  Glass pie plates bake up the best and most crisp pie crust, and you can see how the bottom crust is doing so there’s no guess work involved.

Note: This recipe uses regular sweet cherries, since sour cherries have been such a pain to find this season.  If you’re one of those lucky souls with ample supply of sour cherries (p.s. I hate you) you can adapt it by omitting the lemon juice.

Preheat the oven to 400F | 200C.

Roll out your pie dough into 2 rounds, each just slightly larger than the pie plate.  (If you’re working in a hot kitchen – looking at you New Yorkers – put the rolled-out dough rounds in between sheets of plastic or parchment on a cookie sheet and refrigerate while you deal with the cherries.)

Pit the cherries, discard the pits and keep the cherries in a large bowl.  I find one of these cherry pitters indispensible, but if you don’t have it you can just cut the cherries in half and remove the pits.

In a separate bowl, measure the sugar, spices, and cornstarch (or ClearJel) into it.  Stir well with a fork to thoroughly blend the dry ingredients together, then pour it into the bowl over the pitted cherries.  Add the lemon juice and toss to blend and coat all the cherries with the sugar and the lemon juice.  (Your bare hands are the best tool for this step.)

Line the bottom crust on the pie plate.  Don’t press the dough into the plate, you’ll stretch it out and it will shrink up too much during baking.  Pick up the edge of the dough and push it down into the plate.  Pat it down thoroughly to smooth the dough out.

Pour the cherry filling into the lined pie plate.  Spread it around the even out.  Brush the eggwash around the edge of the bottom crust to help seal the top and bottom crusts.  Cover with the top crust, pressing down the edges to help seal.  With a sharp knife or kitchen sheers, cut the excess dough around the edges of the pie plate.  Then, using the tines of a fork, press down the edges to make a pretty pattern, or crimp the edges if you want.  Cut a few slits over the top to vent the pie during baking.

You can also make a lattice top with this dough.  Cut the dough round intended for the top crust into 10-12 strips.  Place four across the top of the pie, then weave in the other four to make a woven lattice top.  There’s no special instruction for this.  If you’re using my One Pie Dough to Rule Them All you won’t have any problem with it.  The dough strips will be so sturdy you can practically knit with them.  If you’re using other wimpy pie dough, you’re on your own.  Heh.

Brush the top of the pie with the eggwash, sprinkle generously with demerara sugar. To minimize shrinkage, let the finished pie rest in the fridge for an hour before baking. This pie crust will shrink a bit anyway, but I say it’s a fair trade for how much easier it is to handle than traditional pie crusts and how delicious it is.

Once you’re ready to bake, place the pie in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes to just under an hour, until the crust is thoroughly golden brown on the top and bottom. You may put the pie plate on a cookie sheet to prevent spillage, but if you want to live a little you could just put it directly on the oven rack. (I like to put the pie not on the middle rack but one just below it to help brown the bottom crust.)  You’ll know it’s completely done when the juice bubbles up through the slits on the top crust.  If the top crust turns golden brown before the bottom crust, you can cover the top completely with aluminum foil, or move your pie down closer to the bottom of the oven.

Let the pie cool through, at least 3-4 hours, before cutting.  Now, if you used the cornstarch this pie will be a bit loose.  The ClearJel will help it set better than other starch.  But it will taste delicious either way.

If you want to go totally over the top on this, make my Brown Butter Ice Cream and serve the pie with it à la mode!

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62 Responses to “Spiced Cherry Pie

  • Chez Us said:
    July 12th, 2010 at 1:00pm

    I never make cherry pie because of the pitting process. Now I am sold on those cherry pitting gadgets. I have always wondered about them.
    Beautiful pies!

  • Paty said:
    July 12th, 2010 at 4:16pm

    Hi Pim I’m new, I’m going to make this pie but with strawberries instead of cherries, because we don’t have fresh cherries in my country.
    I would like to know if you could give me one good recipe of the red velvet cake

  • vbagatti said:
    July 12th, 2010 at 10:28pm

    Wow, these are the prettiest pies I’ve seen in a long long time.

  • Amy said:
    July 14th, 2010 at 4:54am

    I love the look of your pie. The addition of ground ginger is genius. It would give the pie a welcome warmth and spicy depth.

  • Gillordeincatering.wordpress.com said:
    July 14th, 2010 at 7:36am

    Yep – Winner.

  • LimeCake said:
    July 15th, 2010 at 12:42am

    i’m always afraid of making pie dough in summer. is your kitchen air-conditioned, pim? the crust on this baby looks delicious and inviting so maybe the heat won’t make it too difficult after all.

  • Anne Demay said:
    July 15th, 2010 at 2:32am

    I love it! and prefer the lattice top.

  • fotografiafoodie said:
    July 15th, 2010 at 12:00pm

    That lattice top just makes me want to make the pie, never mind the filling. Lovely!
    But I definitely agree with LimeCake – summer is the worst time to make pie dough, but the time when all the fruit is out!

  • Pim said:
    July 16th, 2010 at 11:05pm

    Thanks. Do get the cherry pitter, you won’t remember how you’ve lived without it for so long!

  • Pim said:
    July 16th, 2010 at 11:05pm

    Strawberries should be fun too. Sorry I don’t bake red velvet cake though, I don’t eat beetroots so I don’t do black velvet cakes.

  • Pim said:
    July 16th, 2010 at 11:05pm

    Thank you (on behalf of the pie).

  • Pim said:
    July 16th, 2010 at 11:06pm

    The ginger works delightfully well with cherries. 🙂

  • Pim said:
    July 16th, 2010 at 11:06pm


  • Pim said:
    July 16th, 2010 at 11:07pm

    Np, my kitchen is not air-conditioned, but I do live in Northern California where it’s cool. I’ve made this crust in hot weather though, and it fared very well. If you’re really worried, why not do the dough at night? It’ll keep beautifully in your fridge until you’re ready to roll it out.

  • Pim said:
    July 16th, 2010 at 11:08pm

    Thanks. As I said though, make it at night and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use.

  • LimeCake said:
    July 17th, 2010 at 2:10am

    Thanks for your suggestion, Pim! I’m gonna try this at night, with all your tips, of course.

  • Shaheen said:
    July 17th, 2010 at 9:18am

    I wish you could also sell cherry pies in your Esty store and ship it all the way to India!

  • Pim said:
    July 17th, 2010 at 3:13pm

    I said the crust is sturdy, yes, but not that sturdy. haha.

  • Paty said:
    July 19th, 2010 at 11:50am

    Hi Pim I made the pie with strawberries like I said before, and I totally loved it!!!, the ginger totally matched with the strawberries, and the dough was just perfect!!
    You know, I’m a foodie and I have a cooking blog in spanish, where I write for my friends, so I would like to know, if you don’t mind if I post my version of your recipe in it, though is the same dough and the same spices but with strawberries…
    I’ll give you the credits of course and also add a link to your recipe.
    Ps. You may check out my blog if you want: http://recetas-sencillas.blogspot.com/

  • Steve said:
    July 19th, 2010 at 2:00pm

    I am so going to make this during the upcoming weekend.
    That lattice top is gorgeous!

  • queens said:
    July 20th, 2010 at 12:08am

    I’m going to make this now.

  • ccytan1120@yahoo.com said:
    July 21st, 2010 at 8:55am

    Pim: question for you – looks like you did not blind bake the bottom crust? i’ve had problems with my sour cherry pies having soggy/gummy bottom crusts (my recipe is from shuna’s eggbeater site) and wondered if your crust fares better w/out blind baking?
    many thanks.

  • Joyti said:
    July 21st, 2010 at 7:13pm

    It looks beautiful AND delicious…wow.

  • David Levinson said:
    July 24th, 2010 at 12:56pm

    Hi Pim: we made a sour-cherry pie a few weeks ago, and then friends gave us 4 additional pounds of sour cherries they had freshly picked in Door County, Wisconsin! Pie’s on our mind (and cherry jam). Here’s a piece from the LA TImes:

  • AsianSupper said:
    July 26th, 2010 at 10:09pm

    Love the way you crimp your crust. I can never get my crust to look as nice as yours. My pies always look very rustic (no matter how hard I try). Cherry pie is my favorite flavor. Delicious

  • Twee said:
    July 29th, 2010 at 6:41am

    I had only half the butter required for a pie crust so I ended up mashing together two of your recipes and what came out is sooooooooo good: Spiced sour cherry crispy crumble 🙂 Never had such depth of flavor in a cherry something, and the crumble oh the crumble! The spices really did something amazing. Thank you Pim!

  • elan said:
    August 4th, 2010 at 8:55am

    Dear Pim,
    My mouth is watering looking at your pie pictures.
    Have you ever baked in Asia?While you were in Bangkok? I live in Singapore and the kitchen gets really hot and all the pastry dough recipes that I get online just gets sticky and impossible to handle, just in order to get it off the table top I have to add so much more flour that it ends up like cardboard. What do you advise (other than installing airconditioning in my kitchen?)

  • Scott said:
    August 4th, 2010 at 3:49pm

    This looks amazing and your spice selection seems delectable. I can’t wait to try it!

  • cda@7thsign.com said:
    August 6th, 2010 at 9:20am

    They’re selling sour cherries at the Milk Pail in Mtn View.

  • Unique Chocolate Gifts said:
    August 8th, 2010 at 3:52pm

    I’ve been used to make pies but I have never tried making Cherry Pie…..the pie looks amazing and delicious. I will try this one soon.

  • new jordan said:
    August 10th, 2010 at 6:01pm

    I love it! and prefer the lattice top.

  • My Delicious Blog said:
    August 11th, 2010 at 1:28am

    Sawasdee from Australia, Khun Pim! This looks delicious as always!

  • Stephanie said:
    August 11th, 2010 at 12:58pm

    I love my cherry-pitter! I got one at an orchard a few years ago – it was a rigged up thing with a pitter/plunger and a mason jar. Works great. You can pit lots of cherries (they collect in the mason jar, then you just unscrew the top, throw out the pits, and wash everything).
    I’ll have to give your amazing pie dough a try. The pix make it look terrific!

  • Foodieinberlin said:
    August 14th, 2010 at 1:49am

    Your cherry pie looks like the most perfect cherry pie ever in the entire world! Pies are not so big in Europe but I do like the idea and have been trying a few versions this summer. It’s sour cherry season here in Berlin so on Monday I am going to give this one a go!

  • Gourmet Mum said:
    August 17th, 2010 at 5:42am

    That is one great looking cherry pie. I have always make slits in my pastries but not really knowing why, it makes sense to vent the insides as I guess this allows it cook evenly and prevent the pie for swelling. Thanks for the tip…

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    August 24th, 2010 at 1:23am

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  • Caribbean Recipe Kits said:
    August 24th, 2010 at 9:16am

    This spiced cherry pie looks absolutely gorgeous, I know it’s only August but it’s got me in the mood for arranging my Christmas lunch menu :0)

  • Diane said:
    August 24th, 2010 at 2:02pm

    I don’t like cherry pie much, but I’ve been converted lately by making a cherry cobbler that I spice with a bit of almond extract and cardamom, along with brown sugar for depth of flavor. I think the almond gives it a real boost!
    This recipe looks good too.

  • Claudia said:
    September 2nd, 2010 at 4:16pm

    I need to do this before the cherries disappear. I am holding on to summer as long as possible. And wishing I hadn’t used the sour cherries from Door County, WI all up.

  • thomasperraz said:
    September 2nd, 2010 at 11:02pm

    It’s so yummy!!! This recipe made made watering my mouth, cant wait now, i must have to have this pie! Thanks for such delicious recipes, Spicy food i just love it, keep posting such mouth watering and healthy recipes, i love to have more dishes like these.
    thanks you again!!

  • Liscio's said:
    September 7th, 2010 at 10:42am

    What a great recipe! Ginger and cherries are a great combination. Definitely a nice change from your basic nutmeg and cinnamon.

  • FoodiesAreFun said:
    September 7th, 2010 at 1:47pm

    I’m leaving my office in a bit to get a pound of cherries and an apple or two to make a version of your cherry pie that popped into my head as I read your dough and spiced cherry pie recipes. I’m super excited to try it all. I live 2 miles from the NJ border and have miles of NJ farmers stands 20 min’s from me on northern Rte 206.

  • Beth said:
    September 9th, 2010 at 6:33pm

    Wow, your pie looks out of this world! The pictures look so pretty too!

  • Articut at simply tasty food said:
    September 12th, 2010 at 7:01am

    Dear Pim, its traditional but so appetizing that i must to try this recipe, also very nice photos.

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    September 13th, 2010 at 8:25pm

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  • Fbf System said:
    September 16th, 2010 at 3:07am

    Wow! I must say that these are the best looking pies I have ever seen and this is something unique, I never knew that you could use ginger with cherries.

  • Amelia from Z Tasty Life said:
    September 16th, 2010 at 7:48am

    oh, the lattice looks wonderful.
    And the spices… so aromatic. I usually add some almond extract to my cherry pie. And once I added Chinese 5 spice. It was wonderful…and mysterious.

  • Diseño Web said:
    September 20th, 2010 at 2:27pm

    Beautiful photos and delicious recipe!

  • Elizabeth said:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 12:23pm

    Oooh! I love ginger and cherries, and I happen to have some farmer’s market cherries in the freezer … I may have to try your pie crust recipe, too!

  • David said:
    November 14th, 2010 at 12:42pm

    Cherry pie, I have never eaten them. I will try it out. Thanks for the share.

  • Jvozoff said:
    November 18th, 2010 at 8:33pm

    I’d love to make this, but it’s November and no fresh cherries. Would frozen cherries work?

  • NishiaK said:
    November 24th, 2010 at 6:10am

    Oh my! YUM, YUM, YUM, YUM, YUM. There are not enough yums in the world to express how DELICIOUS this pie is. I love cherry pie. I am always looking for the next best cherry pie and this is by far the best, most flavorful, interesting, exotic pie EVER. It is not overpowering. I was a bit worried about the ginger, but trust me, go home, make this pie!

  • Nmerhar66 said:
    November 27th, 2010 at 7:00am

    I haven’t tried the spiced cherry pie (yet) but I wanted to say that your pie dough worked out AMAZINGLY. I used to have no problem with pie dough, and then all of a sudden nothing I did was right–but this pie dough was INCREDIBLE for the apple pie I made for Thanksgiving. I will TOTALLY try the spiced cherry pie.

  • Daizes1485 said:
    December 31st, 2010 at 2:00am

    Made the pie for a family get together. It was excellent and got great reviews from family members. I also used this pie crust with a chocolate pie.

  • Sil2u said:
    February 7th, 2011 at 5:35am

    Just made this Pim 🙂 First of all your pie dough recipe rocks and the ginger with the cherries…spectacular! mmmmmm Thank you once again!

  • Shavidaria said:
    June 22nd, 2011 at 6:56pm

    This pie was so good!  We loved it!  Thanks for the delicious recipe:)  I added a little almond extract, because in my opinion, it’s a must have for cherry pie.  I also used the cornstarch.  I heated the prepared filling in a saucepan on the stove to warm and thicken it a little before pouring it in the crust.  I had no problem with soggy crust, and the finished pie wasn’t runny at all.   So so SO good!  I put this one in my recipe box. 

    • Pim said:
      June 29th, 2011 at 4:28pm

      Thanks! So glad you loved the recipe.

  • Kerryloves2travel said:
    July 2nd, 2011 at 12:32pm

    This looks to good NOT to try! How about a pie class at Love Apple Farm?

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  • Valerie said:
    November 25th, 2014 at 11:22pm

    I know this is an old post, but I am so excited to make this pie! I am making using your crust recipe. Which is wonderful by the way. I have bags and bags of cherries in my freezer from a friend’s tree. This will make the perfect pie for our Thanksgiving dinner 🙂

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