See Printable Recipe for a quick list.
4 pounds cherries
There are many varieties of Northwest cherries, each with a very short season. This time of year, the local farm stand seems to have a different kind every time I go by. These are deep burgundy in color, mild, and sweet. There are some more tart ones, too! Each variety will make a different pie.
You can use any kind of cherries. Just be sure they’re fresh.
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (300 grams)
You need this soft medium-protein flour for a nice tender flaky crust.
2 tablespoons sugar
For fruit pies, it’s nice to sweeten the crust just a little.
There’s also sugar in the filling sauce, below…
1/2 teaspoon salt
If you use salted butter, omit this.
1-1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter
This is half the fat content of this crust recipe. If you have salted butter, don’t add any additional salt.
3/4 package (6 ounces) cream cheese
This is the other half of the fat content. Cream cheese adds tangy flavor and thickness to the crust over using only butter.
1/4 to 1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
You could even use milk or water. Just be sure you add it carefully, so you don’t end up with too much, which would make your crust rigid.
This is to add some tartness to the cherries. Lemon and vanilla are a great combination…
2/3 cups sugar
You may be tempted to leave this out, but you get a smoother, silkier sauce when it’s got a sugar base.
1/4 cup corn starch
This is used here as a thickener. You have to cook corn starch until you can’t see it anymore, or you will taste it at the end.
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
We use a lot of vanilla in this recipe, and you can cut it down if you prefer. It creates kind of a lemon cherry chiffon flavor.
Please don’t use imitation vanilla. It’s not the same thing at all! Buy the good stuff!
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon whole nutmeg (optional)
A fresh grind of nutmeg will enhance the flavor in an amazing way.
This is one place where a jar of powdered nutmeg may not be a replacement, because the flavor dries out fast. You can try it…
1 large egg
The egg is for a wash on the surface of the crust, which will give it a nice crispy golden brown look.
vanilla ice cream
Technically, this isn’t one of the ingredients of the pie, but we wanted to remind you to buy some.