Is there anything better than an all American fresh cherry pie recipe? Why yes, yes there is. and it’s called Cherry Crumb Pie…and guys, it is so good. Listen, we are not pie people. I can count on one hand how many times we’ve made pie this year and quite frankly it’s just not one of those desserts that I love. Like I could totally live without pie. But everything changed when we made this Cherry Crumb Pie.
What is Cherry Crumb Pie?
Oh, let me tell you. Cherry crumb pie is made with our easy homemade pie crust, fresh, pitted cherries (or frozen! We’ll get to that), a dash of almond extract to give it that kirsch flavor, and a buttery crumb topping. Cherry Pie feels so homey to me. It’s not like we ever had classic cherry pie growing up, it just feels inherently nostalgic and cozy? You feel?
Plus it’s going to be a show stopper for the 4th of July.
Fresh cherries vs frozen cherries for cherry pie
It’s our duty to try everything out and find the very best version of a recipe for you to make. And one of the main questions we had when making this cherry crumble pie, was whether we should use fresh or frozen cherries. You know we are all about using fruits when they’re in season, so generally we would always say fresh. Plus, fresh cherries are SO good (hello fresh cherry waffle parfait).
But…cherries have one of the longest cook times of all time. Like EVER. I mean, I know I’m impatient, but waiting for the fresh cherry pie to be done was absolute torture. The frozen cherry pie was equally delicious, cooked up faster, and you get to skip the whole headache of pitting your cherries.
So, what’s the verdict on cherries? Fresh or frozen?
You can choose! We found the frozen cherry pie has a more jammy consistency, while the fresh pie preserved the individual cherries. So it’s totally up to you and your preferences….though I will say, both were delicious. If you’re using fresh cherries, use less cornstarch and bake your pie for longer. If you’re using frozen cherries, use more corn starch, and bake your pie for less time! Easy as pie 🙂
How to easily pit cherries:
Now if you do decide to go with fresh cherries, I gotchu guys. All you need is a straw. We love to use a metal one, because 1) the environment, and 2) it’s more durable, but you can always use a standard plastic straw as well. Simply take your cherry and poke the straw through until it hits the pit, then continue to push through until the pit is pushed out the other side. Congrats–pitted cherries!
How to make the perfect flaky pie crust:
The answer is vodka. I’m not kidding. Pour yourself a glass on the rocks (don’t drink it) and I’ll tell you everything you need to know for an easy, buttery pie crust.
- Use super cold butter: I like to cut my butter into cubes and then pop it in freezer, that way it’s as cold as possible once it’s combined with the dry ingredients. Cold butter will give you the flakiest pie crust!
- Invest in a food processor: You can definitely make a good pie crust without a food processor, but it does make it a heck of a lot easier.
- Use ice cold vodka instead of water: If you’re going to make the best ever cherry pie with crumble topping, you’re going to need a good base, so just trust me on this. Actually, trust Alton Brown, because he’s the one who taught me. Vodka has a high alcohol content, which evaporates faster than water. This means as your crust bakes, the alcohol will evaporate, leaving you with the flakiest crust you’ve ever had. I promise no one will taste the vodka 🙂
- Don’t over mix or over work your dough: Overworking your dough can ruin all that hard work you did to keep your butter cold. Flour your surface thoroughly and try to roll out the dough just once. You’ll get a tender pie crust if you work your dough as little as possible!
So go ahead, bookmark this for the 4th of the July for a quintessentially American centerpiece, or whip it up now that cherries are in season.
p.s We HIGHLY recommend serving this with a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream.
Enjoy the weekend and this delicious cherry pie recipe, lovebugs!Print
Cherry Crumb Pie
The perfect summer Cherry Pie made with fresh or frozen cherries and topped with a buttery crumble. Top with a scoop of ice cream and you’ll be in heaven.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 9 inch pie 1x
- Category: pie
- Method: baked
- Cuisine: dessert
for the pie crust
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
- 4–5 tablespoons ice cold vodka
- 1 egg, for egg wash
for the crumb topping
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
for the filling
- 5 cups fresh or frozen cherries
- 2–4 tablespoons corn starch*
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
for the pie crust
- Add the flour, sugar, and salt to a food processor. Add the cold butter cubes to the food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand and no large chunks of butter remain. Place the mixture in the freezer to flash freeze for 15 minutes. This will keep the butter cold and ensure a flaky pie crust.
- Remove from freezer and place back in the food processor. Add in the ice cold vodka, one tablespoon at a time. If your dough has come together, don’t add any more vodka. You want just enough to bind the dough. Mix until just combined.. Turn the dough out of the food processor, and form into a flat oval disk and wrap in plastic wrap. No need to separate into two parts, because you’ll only need the bottom pie crust. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 days, or freeze for up to a month.
Make the crumb topping
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it forms clumps and easily holds its shape.
Make the pie
- Once the pie dough has chilled, it’s time to assemble your pie. Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a standard sized pie pan with butter. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients, tossing until the cherries are evenly coated. If you are using fresh cherries, use 2 tablespoons. If you are using frozen, use 4 tablespoons.
- Remove pie dough disk from the fridge. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Carefully place dough into pie pan, pushing into the pan. Fold the edge of the dough over on itself, and use your fingers to create a crimped edge. Or, if you don’t know how to do this, just leave it be. It will look great regardless!
- Use a large slotted spoon to scoop the filling into your pie pan, straining out any extra juices (if you used fresh cherries there won’t be any juice, so just toss it all in). Top with crumble topping so that the crumb evenly distributes around the pie.
- Brush your edges of the pie with an egg wash, then sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 425°F, then turn temperature down to 375°F and continue to cook pie for an additional 45-60 minutes (it will be around 45 for a frozen cherry pie, and around an hour for a fresh cherry pie!). If your pie crust looks like it’s cooking too fast, you can lightly tent your pie with aluminum foil. You know your pie is done when the filling is bubbling slightly.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 4 hours before serving.
*If you are using fresh cherries use two tablespoons. If you are using frozen cherries use 4, as the frozen cherries will release more juices and need more thickening!
Keywords: cherry, flaky, buttery, crumble, streusel, black cherry, summer, fourth of july, 4th of july