For some people—er, me—apple pie is a favorite. For others, it’s unquestionably cherry that rocks their world. I get asked every weekend at the Pitchfork Pie Stand if I have cherry pie. My response is a quick one: “Who’s going to pit all those cherries?!” But cherry pie is bred deeply in the American DNA, and for that, and its bright and cheery appearance, there is a place for it when offering gifts of healing to others.
For the cherry pie filling
Make the cherry pie filling
In a large bowl, toss together the cherries, sugar, tapioca or cornstarch, and salt. (If your cherries are quite sweet, use 1/2 cup sugar; if your cherries are quite tart, use 1 cup sugar; if your cherries are just right, use 3/4 cup sugar, and if in doubt, use 3/4 cup sugar.)
If using fresh cherries, let the pie filling sit for about 20 minutes. If using thawed frozen cherries, let the cherry pie filling sit for about 60 minutes.
If your cherries released a lot of juices, dump the pie filling into a saucepan and gently simmer, stirring almost constantly, until the juices have thickened considerably, about 7 minutes.
Assemble the cherry pie
Dump the cherry filling into the crust-lined pie plate. Sprinkle the butter evenly over the filling.
Carefully drape the top crust over the top or make a lattice pie crust* (see Leite's Culinaria Note above). Trim and crimp the pastry edges.
Lightly brush the entire surface of the crust with beaten egg. If not using a lattice crust, poke several vent holes in the top crust. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.
Bake the cherry pie at 425°F (220°C) for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 375°F (190°C) and bake until bubbling, at least another 30 minutes (and perhaps a little longer if you’re using frozen cherries). If the crust appears to be turning dark before the filling is done, loosely cover the pie with foil.
Let the pie cool slightly before slicing and serving.
*How do I make a lattice top crust?
If you like the look of the lattice top on this cherry pie, we've got you covered (get it?) with these helpful instructions. Go ahead and give it a try. That messy, ruby red cherry pie filling looks so pretty poking out from underneath. But we also happen to know that a crumble topping is pretty darn good on this pie, too.