Fresh Cherry Pie

Pitting Cherries - Cakewalker

Steel Mandolines

Their bond is strong―a group of gals who’ll hold each other up without hesitation, display kindness of heart, laugh, and cry, all within a tweet, post or group text. Though no serious crisis has tested this sorority to date, I have no doubt if one were to befall upon tribulation, plane tickets would be purchased by the others to rally around quicker than a mouse click. The ladies met on the web, first reading, and then commenting on each other’s food blogs. Themed group posts followed, as did gift exchanges and reunions.


Photo credit: Divertimenti

Solid, this sisterhood is; I couldn’t help but be reminded of the southern women whose friendship was the subject of an immensely popular motion picture starring Sally Fields, Julia Roberts and Dolly Parton. For these ladies, however, not all of them are from the south, and a Magnolia tree just didn’t seem appropriate as a symbol for these culinary cohorts. And until now, having admired them for a time, even coming to know two of them well, none of them know I affectionately refer to them as Steel Mandolines.

Crust Sequence - Cakewalker

1. Pulse the cubed butter and flour mixture until the fat resembles small peas. 2. With motor running, add the water, stopping when the pastry forms a ball. 3. Halve the dough, shape into disks, and refrigerate.

One of my friends from this group, Jeanne, was introduced to you last year in this post. Since then, Kirsten of Comfortably Domestic and I have become dear pals. She hails from the northeast, loves to bake, and has a knack for making pie. One pie, in particular, caught my eye: her favorite cherry pie―a classic beauty with lattice and the quintessential red filling. When I inquired how she thought her recipe would fare using fresh cherries, she was on it, knowing the adjustments needed to do so, and shared them gladly. Her credibility factor is high considering she lives in the region of the country regarded as the cherry capital of the world.

Cherry Filling by Cakewalker

I knew then precisely what I’d do as soon as my local cherry growing area had fresh fruit available.

Filled cherry pie by Cakewalker

Star cutout pie vents - Cakewalker

I’ve been graciously extended an invitation to join in on the camaraderie these women enjoy, to which I’ve declined, for I’d rather admire what they have from afar, women being strong in support of each other. These Steel Mandolines may never walk a red carpet, or win an Oscar, but the friendship they share is what makes them true shining stars.

Cherry Pie by Cakewalker

Fresh Cherry Pie Slice by CakewalkerRecipe adapted from Comfortably Domestic

Fresh Cherry Pie

Prep Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

Yield: Makes One 9-inch Deep Dish Pie

Serving Size: One slice

Fresh Cherry Pie

A fresh cherry pie heralds the arrival of summer, brings families together, and pairs splendidly with vanilla ice cream. This recipe will get one on your table as easy as…pie!


    For the Pastry:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (12 Tbs. or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons iced water
  • (Yields enough dough for a generous 9-inch Double Crust Pie, a 10-inch double crust pie, or two 10-inch tarts)
  • For the Filling:
  • 4 cups (1 quart, about 2 pounds) pitted and stemmed fresh sweet cherries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons cold water
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons Amaretto liqueur
  • For the (Optional) Topping:
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • Raw, granulated, or sanding sugar


    Prepare the pie dough:
  • Cut butter into 1/2 inch cubes and freeze for at least one hour.
  • Place the flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor; pulse 2-3 times (1 second pulses) to mix.
  • Add the frozen butter cubes to the food processor bowl; toss with a fork to coat. Continue pulsing to cut the butter into the flour mixture, until the butter is the size of small peas (about 8-12 pulses, depending on the size of the motor on the food processor.)
  • While the food processor is running, slowly add the iced water through the feed tube, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together, and becomes a stiff ball (this process usually takes 15-20 seconds—don’t allow the ball to roll around the mixer bowl for too long). Turn dough out onto a clean, floured surface. Divide dough in half. Gently shape each half into a disk, wrap the disks well in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. Dough may be made and refrigerated 2 days in advance. Well-wrapped dough disks may be frozen up to one month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator prior to using.
  • Make the filling:
  • Whisk sugar and cornstarch together in a medium saucepan until blended. Add the water and butter. With a spoon, stir the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until it begins to simmer. Stir in the cherries; continue stirring gently, until the filling boils and becomes very thick. Immediately remove from heat; stir in the liqueur, allow filling to cool to room temperature.
  • Assemble the pie:
  • Roll out one disk of chilled pie dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness; gently roll dough around rolling pin to transfer to the pie plate, ensuring a 1 ½ inch overhang. Gently lift the edges of the dough allowing it to slump onto the sides. Pour cooled pie filling into the pastry lined pie plate. Roll out the other disk of dough to cover top of pie, leaving a 1 ½ inch overhang. Decide how you want to vent the pie—if using cutters like the stars depicted herein, make the cutouts before placing the top crust on the pie.
  • Fold both edges over to create a ½ inch rim around the pie. Seal, crimp, and vent top crust as desired if you haven’t already.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Beat egg with water to create egg wash. Brush egg wash over the pie, and sprinkle your choice of sugar on top. Chill assembled pie for 30 minutes while oven comes to temperature.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, then decrease temperature to 375°F for about 30 more minutes, or until filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Use foil, if needed, to cover the edges and/or top of pie in the event the crust browns before the filling bubbles.
  • Allow pie to cool completely on a wire rack before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.


  1. What I beautiful and scrumptious pie! Perfect for the beginning of summer 🙂
    Have a nice week

  2. And just like watching Steel Magnolias, I cried all the way through your post. Thank you so much for the touching tribute, Brooks. Surely you must know how much you are loved and admired in return. -j

    PS – You did Kirsten proud with that cherry pie. Bravo!

    • Brooks Walker says

      I feel the love, Jeanne, thank you. I’m delighted you enjoyed the post. Kirsten’s pointers set me straight on a path to success!

  3. We are so making T-shirts for Steel Mandolines. Brooks, you are a SWEET, wonderful dude. And this pie? I need a slice. Never a purdier pie did I ever see.

    • Brooks Walker says

      Megan! So good to have you here. I’m much obliged for the compliment, and just as tickled over the t-shirt idea. Go for it.

  4. I love the OKMH girls, too! Love that you call them Steel Mandolines–and I love this pie! I shall from now on consider you an honorary member of the OKMH gang!

    • Brooks Walker says

      The OHMK gals are a great bunch for sure, Jenni. Something tells me there’s a recipe opportunity here for your Ice Cream Tuesday series. Hmmmm, I wonder what Cherry Pie Ice Cream would taste like?

  5. I am in love with your pie! Cherries my all time fav! Your Steel Mandolins are just too cute! Such a touching post!

    • Brooks Walker says

      Thank you so much, Serena. Season fresh fruit makes a dandy of a pie. I appreciate you stopping by!

  6. It’s not hard to surmise than Kirsten would have the best cherry pie recipe! And you’ve made it so beautiful by decking it out for the 4th of July!

    • Brooks Walker says

      Why thank you, Liz. I think Kirsten should be charged as Director of the USPA (United States Pie Authority)!

  7. I love the idea of the Steel Mandolines! I’ve actually got one of those monsters — every time I use it I worry I’ll cut my finger off. And I use the guard! Boy is that sharp. But not as sharp looking as this pie — it’s wonderful! And I just got some cherries from the grocery store. Hmmm . . . 😉 Thanks for this.

    • Brooks Walker says

      You’re welcome, John. I’m a bit guarded when I use my mandoline too. I appreciate you stopping by!

  8. Brooks, your presentations are always spectacular! And, I’ve got to get myself one of those cherry pitters!

  9. I love that you call this group Steel Mandolines – what fun! And I am totally lusting after this cherry pie. It is a favorite pie of mine, but I have never made one. I am thinking I need to change that this summer.

  10. Brooks, what a beauty! I love cherry pie, but rarely make it because it’s not a favorite of Mr Delightful’s. But I just might make myself a small one as soon as I get my hands on some cherries.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.