Sour cherry is one of the most popular fruits in our country, you can find at least one tree in almost every garden. Hungary is the second biggest producer of sour cherry in the European Union, 60.000-90.000 tons are produced annually. It’s not by chance that sour cherries are beloved and often used ingredient of fruity desserts.
Sour cherry pie is a timeless dessert favorite that reminds me of holidays and celebrations of years past. Making sour cherry pie is a lot easier than you think. All you have to do is to knead a shortcrust pastry and make the filling which is thickened with vanilla pudding. I keep the ingredients for the filling simple because I don’t think the fruit needs any embellishment.
I cook the pudding with sour cherry juice and I don’t add lemon juice or zest because the cherries are plenty tart naturally. I usually use jarred sour cherries, but this recipe can also be adapted to frozen tart cherries, just let them melt completely, so you will have enough juice for thickening.
For the dough:
- 375 g (~3 cups) flour
- 150 g (~2/3 cup) butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 75 g (~6 1/2 tbsp) sugar
- 10 g (~2 1/2 tsp) baking powder
- zest of a half lemon
- pinch of salt
- 2-3 tbsp sour cream
For the filling:
- 700 g (~1 1/2 lbs) pitted sour cherries
- 80 g (~6 3/4 tbsp) sugar
- 1 package (40 g ~ 1 1/2 oz) vanilla pudding powder
- 300 ml (~1 1/4 cups) sour cherry juice
Size of the baking pan: 23×28 cm / 9×11 inch
Rub the butter into the flour, then add other ingredients and knead them into a smooth dough. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the filling. Mix pudding powder with sugar, then gradually stir in the sour cherry juice until you have a smooth texture. Bring to the boil while stirring constantly and cook until it thickens. Turn off the heat and add sour cherries to the pudding.
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 356°F.
Divide the dough into two balls: 40% for the top crust and 60% for the bottom. Roll the bigger dough into a rectangle and fit it into the bottom of your baking pan and up the sides. Spread the filling evenly on the dough. Roll out the remaining dough into a smaller rectangle and cut it into strips. Top pie with lattice strips and brush them with slightly beaten egg whites. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.